^^ ~V ^v^ ^
1 Recollectionv^ g
^ LONG? LIFE
1806 -° 1876.
Still o'er these scenes my memory wakes,
And fondly broods with miser care, —
Time but the impression deeper makes
As streams their channels deeper wear."
Burns "To Mary in Heaven.
COLUMBIA, S. C.
Charles A. Calvo, Jr., Printer.
Page 36, line 14, for "from " read "for."
Page 44, line 2cS, for "Thomas" read "Charles."
Page 46, line 3, for " Harvey " read "Henry."
Page 67, line 2, insert negro between "India" and "barber."
Page 67, at the end of the Chapter add the following, which was
accidentally omitted by the author :
The Baptist Church was of brick, and fronted on Sumter street^ near
its intersection with Plain.
The Methodist Church, a long, low wooden building, stood at the
corner of Washington and Bull streets, the site of the present church.
It was succeeded by a brick structure, with galleries on the sides and
rear, which was burnt by Sherman's vandals in 1865.
On the removal of the County seat from Granby the old court house
was bought by the Presbyterian congregation, who had it taken down,
removed and rebuilt, and converted into a church, in which they wor-
shiped till their present church was about to be erected, when it became
the property of Major Niernsee, Avho altered it into the dwelling now
owned by Mr. J. H. Kinard on Lady street, opposite to its former loca-
tion. Thus, after serving for the administration of the law and the
propagation of the Gospel, it was changed into a private residence.
The Episcopal Church was at its present location, and the Catholics
and Lutherans had no church in Columbia at that time.
Page 110, between lines 13 and 14, insert : The chief income in this
section was from lumber sawed at their mills and rafted down Edisto
River to the coast.
Page 17, line 15, for " 1815" read " 1816."
Page 2()6, line 24, for "Isaac A." read "James A.
Entered :»ccording to Act of Congress, in the year 1884,
By Edwin J. Scott,
In the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.
Aim and Scope of the Work 3
HISTORICAL EVENTS ON THE CONTINENT OF EUROPE.
Napoleon Bonaparte — Louis the Eighteenth — Charles the Tenth —
Revolution of 1830— Louis Phillippe— Revolution and Republic
in 1848 — Louis Napoleon — The German Empire— Its Conquest
of Austria and France 4
George The Third— Poets, Novelists, Essayists and Critics— George
The Fourth— Trial of Queen Caroline— William The Fourth-
Reform Bill — Queen Victoria 7
SUMTER, 1806 TO 1811.
Black River — Presbyterian Church — Indigo — Cotton — Specie Cur-
rency — Wells— Manchester — Its School House — Ball Battery —
Drinking and Gambling — African Negroes — Yankee Peddlers —
Catawba Indians 9
CAMDEN, 1811 TO 1817.
Rev. George Reid's Academy — War of 1812 — Colonel William
McWillie and His Son — Chapman Levy — General Blair — Henry
G. Nixon — Boys' Artillery Company — Insurrection of Negroes —
Cruelty of Criminal Laws — Baron DeKalb — Church, Preachers
and Leading Citizens 14
COLUMBIA, 1817 TO 1822.
Departure from Camden and Arrival in Columbia — Apprenticeship
and Return to Camden — Emigration Westward — Importance
of a Wafer — Trip to Augusta — John McLean — Race Between
Argyle and Bascom — Robert Waddell and Colonel Preston —
Hugh McLean, H. I. Caughman and Sid Johnston — Sojourn at
Lexington — Henry Shultz — Toasts 19
. COLUMBIA— CONTINUED.
Introduction of Steam with Its Effects — Magnetic Telegraph — Ex-
press Companies — Waterworks, Gas Works and Other Improve-
ments and Inventions — Changes in Habits, Utensils, Diseases,
&c. — Roads, Streets and Ferries — Drowning of Yoimg Blocker —
Markets and Butchers 29
COLUMBIA — CONTINUED.
Business Houses and Their Occupants— John D. Brown and Family—
D. and J. J. Faust— Terence, James and John C. O'Hanlon— The
Bryces — Daniel Morgan — Adam Edgar — Dr. F. W. Green — Dr.
S. Percival — John Parr — The Purvises and Hunts — Major Benj,
Hart — Old State House — Isaac Frazier and Isaac H. Coleman —
Little Levy — R. E. Russell and His Garden , . . 34
COLUMBIA — CONTINUED.
Main Street, East Side— Dr. Sam Green— Business Men and Their
Houses— From Gervais to Lady Street— From Lady to Wasliing-
ton — From Washington to Plain, Including the Court House —
From Plain to Camden or Taylor — From Taylor to Blanding —
From Blanding to Laurel 42
COLUMBIA — CONTINUED.
West Side of Main Street — Ainsley Hall — From Laurel to Blanding
Street — From Blanding to Taylor— From Taylor to Plain — An-
drew Wallace — Columbia Insurance Company— From Plain
Street to Barrett's Store — David Coulter and Family — Benjamin
Rawls — McCord and Nott — Shipwrecks — William L. Lewis 50
COLUMBIA — CONTINUED.
Private Dwellings and Their Occupants— The Beards, Taylors, Hamp-
tons, Wades, DeSaussures, Notts, Starks, Guignards, Herbe-
monts. Fishers, Chappells, McGowans and Others — First Theatri-
cal Performance — C!ircus and Ball Room 59
COLUMBIA — CONTINUED.
Remarkable Negroes — Lawyers — James and Maxcy Gregg — Abram
Blanding — Columbia Canal — State Road — Saluda Factory — Rail-
road Bank — Water Works — Chapman Levy — Trial of William
Taylor— Duel — Academies, Schools and Watering Places 67
William Capers, James O. Andrew, Samuel Dunwoody, Jonathan
Maxcy and Basil Manly 73
IV , CONTENTS.
DISTRICT AND TOWN OFFICERS.
Sheriff, Clerk and Ordinary, Tax Collector, Crier of Court, Intend-
ant, Chief of Police and Congressman — Flush Times — Prices
of Produce — Tobacco Inspection— Credit Sj'stem — Boats — Goods
and Their Prices 77
Jacob and Judah Barrett — John G. Dunlap — Henry Hook — Murder
of John Arthur — Henry Voss and John H. Eiflert 82
LEXINGTON, 1822 TO 1839.
The Village — George Haltiwanger — A. H. Fort — Jacob Drafts — John
Meetze — Mrs. Corley — The Well Curb — Ephraim Corlej^ — Adam
Mayer, Mrs. Stewart and the Hendrixes 87
R. H. Goldthwaite and Allen C. Stillman — The Court House — Bush
Arbor and St. Peter's Church — Jesse Drafts — The German
Lutherans, Their Habits and Characteristics, Their Negroes,
Their Clothing, Food and Furniture, Their Honesty, Fights and
Weddings — Game — Superstition — Edgefield Ghost , 93
William Jones and John Caldwell — My Election as Tax Collector
and Marriage — Stenography and Bookkeeping — Bishop Capers
and Mr. Petigru— Revs. Thomas Rail, Godfrey, Dreher and
Yost Metze — John Snyder 102
SOME LEADING MEN OF THE DISTRICT.
West Caughman, John W. Lee, John Quattlebaum, Daniel Rambo,
Tommy Williamson, Simon and Peter Redmund, John Hoover,
Muller & Senn, John Threewitts — Old Granby and Its Inhab-
itants—A Tale of a Shirt 108
THE DUTeil FORK.
George Lorick's — " My Pally Hurts Me " — Spring Hill — Thomas Boyd,
Senior— Lindler as a Bridegroom— Jacob Counts— Henry Smith
and His Mudderwit — Shealy's — Tom Frick and His Faith — Fred
Wise — Spinning Flax— Grace Before Meat 114
Amos Banks — Buckeye Bayles — Whitman, the Blacksmith — Paysin-
ger and Bates — Deep Swimming — Dominick and His Gun —
Drunken Men and Hogs — Nicknames — Verses 118
Queer Sayings and Doings — Lewis Stack as a Plough Horse — Luke
Manning and His Duel — Lowry, the Surveyor — Daniel and
Jeremy Wingard and Jesse Floyd 123
Judges and Lawyers — Judge Gantt and Judge O'Neall — Tom Hen-
drix and Isaac Vansant — Judge Butler and Barney Livingston —
Old Grig Clark— Cases in Court— Joseph Kennerly's Widow-
Dunning vs. Permenter, Breach of Marriage Contract— Meetze
and Singletary— Arson and Forgery 130
Lafayette's Visit to Columbia — Death of Jefferson and Adams —
Nullification Convention — John Randolph, Henry Clay and
Thomas Ritchie — Florida War — Klbler. Sims and Petigru —
Lutheran Seminary — Rev. Dr. Hazelius 13?'
RETURN TO COLUMBIA.
Officers and Directors of the Commercial Bank — The Branch Bank —
New Merchants and Business Men — The Clergy — The College —
The Academies — The Seminary — Receipts of Cotton — Election
in 1840— Sidney Park 140
THE WAR WITH MEXICO.
Colonel Butler, Lieutenant-Colonel Dlckerson and Major Gladden—
My Assignment— Robert Latta, John A. Crawford, John Cald-
well and Henry Lyons — The Freshet of 1852 — My Election as
Cashier — The Bank Suspension of 185T — The College Riot 156
THE CONFEDERATE WAR.
The Central Relief Association — Joseph Daniel Pope — My Visit to
the Army in Virginia — The Burning of Columbia 168
My Trip Up the River — End of the War — Visit to Salt Works — Elec-
tion to the Legislature — Copartnership with George W. Wil-
liams—Bank Robbery— Connection with Southern, Baldwin and
Shiver — Reconstruction and Radical Rule — Failure in Health
and Business — Seven Spring Mass — Rhymes 195
" Old people tell of li'Jiat tliey have seen and done, children of 7vhat
they are doing, anil fools of 7vhat thev intend to do^
Aim and Scope of the Work.
However humble or obscure one's Hfe may be, be can
hardly attain the age of eighty without witnessing and parti-
cipating in some exciting and interesting scenes and becom-
ing acquainted with many remarkable and distinguished
persons. And when too old and infirm to serve his family or
the community in any other way, he may, if blest with an
ordinary memory, amuse or instruct them somewhat by re-
calling and recording some of the circumstances and trans-
actions that have occurred in his time, together with the
changes made thereby. This I propose to do. And whereas
any statement of facts may be strengthened and confirmed by
a knowledge of the manner in which they became known,
my own experience shall be given whenever requisite to verify
or simplify the narrative about to be related.
The present century has witnessed many startling and im-
portant events, producing a greater revolution in all the phases
of human society than has occurred in the same length of time
at any previous period of the world's history. Who can
enumerate, for instance, the many improvements made in the
arts and sciences, in government and education, in law and
literature, in medicine and surgery, in agriculture and its im-
plements, in mechanical inventions and chemical discoveries,
all tending to promote the comforts and conveniences, sup-
ply the needs, advance the interests, and contribute to the
welfare of the race? Without attempting at present to par-
ticularize or estimate the effects of these improvements on
the character and condition of our people, which shall be
done to some extent hereafter, a brief review of the most
prominent public matters shall first be traced, and then a
sketch of private affairs, with the great alterations in our
business habits and domestic manners and customs, inter-
spersed with local incidents and anecdotes, will form the
subject of the following series.
HISTORICAL EVENTS ON THE CONTINENT OF
Napoleon Bonaparte — Louis the Eighteenth — Charees the Tenth —
Revolution of 1830— Louis Philippe— Revolution and Republic
IN 1848— Louis Napoleon— The German Empire— Its Conquest of
Austria and France.
We will first glance at the principal historical events, be-
ginning with France.
The wonderful career of Napoleon Bonaparte, perhaps, ex-
ceeds in novelty and interest that recorded of any other
character in history or fiction. His rise from a private
station to supreme power without the aid of wealth or in-
fluential fiimily connections; his creation (for it can be called
no less) of peace and order out of the chaos of conflicting
and fermenting elements left by the great French Revolution ;
his successive conquest of all the kingdoms of Continental
Europe, until his fatal and insane invasion of Russia, with
the horrors and sufferings of the retreat from Moscow; his
waning fortunes at Dresden and Leipsic; his desperate but
futile struggle to protect Paris; his defeat, abdication and
exile to Elba; his sudden and unexpected return, causing the
flight of Louis the Eighteenth; his busy and brilliant reign
of the Hundred Days; his final overthrow at Waterloo; his
vain attempt to escape to America; his banishment and death
at St. Helena, wdie^nce after many years his remains were
removed to Paris and received with great pomp by Louis
Philippe, and where, in accordance with his last will and
prayer, they '^repose on the banks of the Seine, among the
people whom he had loved so well." Surely no more stir-
ring and romantic life is found in the annals of our race.
Such were his power and influence that his history was that
of Europe for nearly twenty years ; and Allison, the historian,
his bitter and prejudiced enemy, declared that all Europe
would fly to arms at the display ^of his old grey coat.
I distinctly recollect reading the account of the battle of
Waterloo in the Camden newspaper at the time ; and if the
old Cornwallis mansion still remained, in which I went to
school, and which was burnt by Sherman's troops in 1865, I
could go to within three feet of the spot where I read the
paper — one whole broadside being filled with the list of
killed and wounded general officers.
After the fall of Napoleon, Louis the Eighteenth was re-
stored to the kingdom by the Allied Powers, and was suc-
ceeded at his death by the Comte D'Artois, under the title of
Charles the Tenth. Him the people dethroned and drove
out by the Revolution of 1830, under the lead of Guizot,
Thiers and others. This was in the same week that witnessed
the commencement of a still greater revolution — though of a
different kind — in the opening of the railroad between Liver-
pool and Manchester, and the successful application of steam
power to locomotion by land ; Mr, Huskisson, the great
British statesman, being unfortunately run over and killed on
the trial trip.
Louis Philippe, then elected King of the French, was a
son of the dissolute and unprincipled L'Egalite, Philip Duke
of Orleans, who completed his infamy by voting in the
National Convention for the conviction and execution of his
kinsman, Louis the Sixteenth, and ended his life not long
after under the guillotine, by authority of the Revolutionary
By the Revolution of 1848, Louis Philippe, the citizen
King, was forced to vacate the throne and flee to England
for safety. Then followed the stormy and short-lived Repub-
lic under Lamartine, Ledra Rollin and their associates ; the
escape of Louis Napoleon from the fortress at Ham; his
flight to England; his subsequent return and election to the
Chamber of Deputies; his overthrow of the Republic and
his assumption of the Empire with the title of Napoleon the
The Revolution of 1848 extended over the Continent,
"with fear of change perplexing monarchs," who quieted
their subjects for the time by promises of reform, which,
however, were soon falsified. The subsequent course of
events, resulting in the consolidation of the German Empire
by annexing to the Kingdom of Prussia the petty principali-
ties formerly represented in the Diet; by its conquest in suc-
cession of Austria and France, with the defeat, capture and
death of Louis Napoleon, are too well known to deserve
further notice. Thus the French ship of state, resembling.
" a stormy land, a stormy sea before her," was tossed and
buffeted by the restless and tumultuous currents of foreign
war and domestic factions.
GREA T BRITAIN.
George the Third — Poets, Novelists, Essayists and Critics —
George the Fourth — Trial of Queen Caroline — William the
Fourth— Reform Bill— Queen Victoria.
Meantime England, having seen and paid dearly for the
folly of intermeddling in the affairs of her neighbors, was
steadily, if not rapidly, growing in wealth and power — undis-
turbed, save by an occasional gust from the coast of Ireland,
whose people she had shamefully misgoverned and oppressed —
increasing her population and territory, extending her com-
merce and manufactures, and utilizing and profiting by all
the agencies and appliances that characterize and enrich an
industrious and a prosperous community. My memory goes
back to the close of the reign of George the Third, under
the Prince Regent, an era distinguished by the remarkable
and splendid galaxy of writers in poetry, fiction and criti-
cism — Byron, Scott, Moore, Campbell, Rogers, Wordsworth,
Coleridge, Southey, Shelley and Keats, Jeffrey, Brougham,
Sydney Smith, Christopher I^orth, (John Wilson,) and
Charles Lamb — who illuminated the whole horizon of polite
literature, and, after the lapse of so many years, still shine
with the brightness of morning, fair as the moon, clear as the
sun, and, in their influence on taste and sentiment, more
powerful than an army with banners. They actually created
new tastes and erected different standards of merit from those
previously existing, while charming and surprising their own
and succeeding generations by the beauty, variety and abun-
dance of their productions. Many of these I devoured with
avidity and delight at their first appearance, once sitting up
a whole night with one of Scott's novels.
To fully appreciate our indebtedness to them, we must re-
member that from Burns to Scott and Byron — a period of
some twenty years — no poetry deserving the name had ap-
peared, whilst the next twenty were enriched by the list of
authors given above; that the fashionable novels were mostly
a mere mass of indecency, stupidity and sickly sentiment-
ality, until the publication of Scott's, which at once secured
a popularity that has never ceased and scarcely diminished,
notwithstanding the host of competitors that has since
entered the lists; and that in criticism the staid and correct,
but hard and dry, utterances of Blair and Lord Karnes were
superseded by the wit and wisdom, the common sense and
audacity, of Blackwood and the Edinburgh Review.
At the death of George the Third, George the Fourth
ascended the throne. He created intense excitement through-
out the Kingdom by refusing to allow the coronation of his
consort. Queen Caroline, and, as an excuse or justification for
such refusal, by instigating her scandalous prosecution and
public trial on a charge of adultery. Her counsel — Brougham
and Denman — in a spirit of manliness and independence
that was above all praise, in defiance of the monarch's per-
sonal wishes, and of the influence of his power and patron-
age, faithfully and successfully defended their client, whilst
fearlessly exposing his conduct and character.
After him came William the Fourth, and then Queen
Victoria, whose reign continues to the present date. In the
meantime the matters of most interest were the passage of
the Reform Bill in 1832, regulating and extending the suf-
frage; the repeal of the Corn Laws; the Irish agitation under
Daniel O'Connell; the Crimean War; the Sepoy Rebellion,
and others too recent and unimportant for further remark.
SUMTER, iSod TO iSii.
Black Riveu Presbyterian Church — Indigo — Cotton — Specie Cur-
rency— Wells— Manchester— Its School House— Ball Battery-
Drinking and Gambling— African Negroes— Yankee Peddlers—
At home, my first recollections found me at Sumterville,
where my father kept a tavern in 1806, when I was about
three years old. To get me out of the way at Court time,
when the house was full of guests, I was sent to the home of
my grandfather, VVm. Anderson, some ten miles East of the
village, beyond Black River, between it and the Brick Church,
(Presbyterian,) which then stood nearly, if not exactly, on
the beautiful spot occupied by the present Salem Presbyterian
Brick Church, Black River. The river swamp where we
crossed it was half a mile wide, crowded with large trees, and
had a high bridge over the main current of the stream, which
was reached by a causewayed road through the black and
sluggish water on either side, so narrow and crooked that a
passenger could see but a few yards ahead; always looking
gloomy and threatening, often hazardous and sometimes im-
passable. Now it has a broad embankment, above the highest
freshets, through which the river flows under three or four
substantial bridges, with strong hand-rails that give a sense
of perfect security to the traveler. This valuable improve-
ment is due to the skill and energy of my deceased friend
Matthew E. Muldrow, formerly Commissioner of Roads.
Indigo was then raised in all that region for sale and for
domestic use. It grew wild in the woods, attained the height
of one and a half to two feet, and had bluish green leaves.
At the proper season the plants were cut off near the ground
and immersed in water to extract the coloring matter, which
sank by its own weight to the bottom of the vat, when the
10 KAN DOM RECOLLECTIONS.
water was drawn off, the sediment left to dry and harden,
and then cut into squares, forming the finest blue dye known
to the world. To make a first rate article the water was
sometimes drawn from one vat to another, stirred and boiled.
When broken, the cleavage in good indigo was smooth and
showed a copper-colored tinge. A knowing old lady, in
telling another how to judge its quality, said : "Take a clean
new cedar or cypress piggin, fill it three-thirds full with clear
spring water, put into it a lump of indigo as big as an egg,
and, if good, it will either sink or SAvim, I have really for-
gotten which." I have seen the vats or tanks when in use,
and the remains of some of them still stand in the neighbor-
There being no cotton gins at the time, the cultivation of
that staple was quite limited. Families in the country usually
spent the long Winter evenings in social converse, while
picking cotton from the seed with their fingers, and seated
around a big log fire, in which a plenty of pindars and sweet
potatoes were roasting. The growth of cane in all low
places, together with other plants, afforded a capital range
for stock, and planters raised large numbers of beeves and
hogs for the Charleston market, whither they were driven
every winter. They also sold their indigo in the city, bring-
ing home the proceeds in Spanish silver coin, which com-
posed almost the entire currency before the Bank of the State
came into existence in December, 1812. This was a very
clumsy and inconvenient medium of exchange, especially for
large amounts and for merchants in North Carolina and other
distant points who dealt in Charleston and were forced to
carry their money in boxes fitting under the seats of the sul-
keys in which they traveled, so as to be taken out at night
and put back in the morning. Goods, except upon the rivers,
were hauled by wagons, and freight on heavy articles like
iron and salt was enormous! v hicdi. Mr. Robert Latta laid
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 11
the foundation of his immense fortune by wagoning goods
from Philadelphia to Yorkville, where he did business during
the war. Wagons, for safety and company, went together in
large numbers, and it was not unusual to see a dozen or more
in a gang, the jingling of the bells on their horses' heads
making '* music in the sinners' ears."
The wells in this section and most of the low country were
quite a curiosity to strangers. The pond cypress, unlike that
of the swamps, has the peculiarity of being hollow nearly its
entire length, thus forming a tube, sometimes two or three
feet in diameter, surrounded by a rim of wood two to four
inches thick. These are cut into sections, cleaned, cleared
out and converted into well curbs, bee gums, ash stands, &c.
The knees — so called — when inverted and fitted with handles,
make the best of buckets, which never leak nor shrink, and
hardly ever decay or wear out; so that the boy was not far
wrong who said that cypress timber lasted always, for his
father had tried it twice. I know of one such curb that after
being in daily use upwards of fifty years is as sound as it was
at first. In that low, flat country, some of the wells during
a wet season require banking around the curb to keep the
water from flowing out on the surface, yet when freshly drawn
it is cool, pleasant and healthful.
I was too young to take much notice of fashions in dress,
but young ladies at balls wore sharp-toed morocco slippers of
all the colors of the rainbow, and gentlemen looked particu-
larly neat and genteel in fair-topped boots, worn with knee
breeches, and having a band of smooth yellow leather four
or five inches wide at top. They also wore white powder in
their hair on public occasions.
From Sumter we removed to Manchester on the main road
from Camden to Charleston. This village was settled, for
the sake of health and society, by the Moores, Ramseys,
Ballards and other rich planters who owned lands on the
12 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
Wateree River. Besides their residences, it had a tavern,
kept by my father, a shoe shop, tailor shop, blacksmith shop,
a school house and two or three stores — the principal one
owned by Duke Goodman, who soon after went to Charleston,
where he became a leading cotton factor and Methodist
exhorter. He was said to have once confounded the two pro-
fessions and shown which was uppermost in his mind, by giv-
ing out a hymn as short staple, instead of short metre. But
this might have been a mere piece of fun or slander; for slan-
der and fun were as much relished then as now.
The school house, built of logs, had a stand at the Eastern
end, that served for a pulpit whenever a stray Methodist
preacher happened to call and hold divine service, which was
done by at least one of them in my time, who declared that
he was not ashamed to be called "old bawling Jenkins." He
was widely known as a zealous Christian, had been a faithful
soldier in the Revolutionary War, and bore an excellent char-
acter in every respect, which together caused him to be
elected doorkeeper of the Senate in his extreme old age. In
that building I first went to school, my teacher being a Mr.
Rivers from the low country. Many years afterwards, when
visiting my friends in Salem, I was delayed several hours at
the Manchester station on the Wilmington Railroad, about a
mile below the old village, and walked up to it, where I found
but two houses remaining — that formerly occupied by my
father, and the old school house, looking both inside and out
exactly as I had left it half a century previously — the pulpit,
seats and benches all in their places, and so it may be to this
day. A short distance South of the village was a ball bat-
tery and alley, where the young men played fives, sometimes
at match games with those from other places, as is now prac-
tised in base ball, with the addition of considerable sums
being occasionally staked on the result. Stephen D. Miller,
afterwards Governor, was one of the best players in the State.
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 13
The battery was a smooth wooden wall, perhaps forty feet
long by thirty in height, with the alley of corresponding
length and breadth, carefully leveled, tightly packed, and
swept clean. Some of the villagers and neighbors met every
day at a store, where the card table was brought out into the
piazza soon after breakfast, and gambling went on till night,
winding up, now and then, with a supper and ball, to which
the young ladies were invited, and that lasted to a late hour.
This, with drinking freely, was their regular habit week after
week, varied by quarter races, feats of strength and activity,
and an occasional fist fight. The natural consequence fol-
lowed: in a few years they were bankrupt in health, fortune
The slave trade was then in operation and many Africans
were brought into the District by the planters. I saw quite a
number of them, bright-looking, smooth-faced, and slender
in form, but clean-limbed and very active. So fond of
whisky were they, that for a dram one would stand with his
back against a post or wall and let a strong man strike him in
the forehead with his fist.
The occasional, and always welcome, advent of a Yankee
peddler, driving a good horse in a covered wagon, supplied
families with tin ware and other light goods. And a few
Catawba Indians visited us every winter, with bows and
arrows, moccasins, and earthenware pots and pans of their
own manufacture, some very neatly made and prettily colored ;
the women carrying infants wrapped in blankets on their
backs, so that the little ones could peep out over their
mothers' shoulders. To complete my reminiscences of Man-
chester, it may be stated that we had a bright comet and
several severe earthquakes; that shad were so abundant as to
sell by the hundred at 12^ cents each; that for health's
sake my brothers and myself were given a small quantity of
whisky before breakfast every morning, and that I had learned
U RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
to play cards before I could read. It would seem that noth-
ing but a special providence or a lucky chance saved me from
becoming both a drunkard and a gambler, for certainly no
one ever had a fairer start in that direction. But my task is
to relate facts, not to moralize on them.
CAMDEN, 1811 TO 1817.
Rev. George Reid's Academy— War of 1812— Colonel William
Mg Willie and His Son — Chapman Levy — General Blair — Henry
G. Nixon— Boys' Artillery Company— Insurrection or Negroes-
Cruelty of Criminal Laws— Baron DeKalb— Churches, Preach-
#ERS AND Leading Citizens.
In iSir my father removed to Camden, where I was sent
for six years to an Academy for girls and boys, kept by
Rev. George Reid, a portly, pock-marked Presbyterian
clergyman, of much experience and very superior attain-
ments as a classical teacher, a rigid disciplinarian, who used
the rod and the ruler unsparingly and impartially whenever
he thought it necessary. His favorite method of inflicting
punishment was to lay the delinquent across his lap, face
downwards, and then paddle him with a broad, flat ruler,
leaving marks, in some cases, that were visible for weeks.
Public opinion, in these latter days, seems to condemn
corporal punishment and the mingling of the sexes in our
schools. But, while disclaiming any competency to decide
on these questions, I confidently affirm that neither the spirit
of the one sex nor the modesty and purity of the other was
unfavorably affected by these practices as then enforced, and
that, so far as my knowledge and belief extend, no undue
familiarity between them ever was reported or suspected.
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 15
Under Mr. Reid, I took his regular course in Latin, viz.,
Ruddiman's Grammar, Corderii, .^vsop's Fables, Erasmus,
Cornelius Nepos, Caesar, Virgil and Horace, and was a year
or so in the Creek, as my old friend, John Summer, said of
his son Adam. He had, as assistant in the English depart-
ment, C. J. Shannon, subsequently a leading merchant and
father of the lamented William M. Shannon; and later, in
the classics, William K. Clowney, of Union, who afterwards
was a tutor in the South Carolina College and represented
his District in Congress. My classmates were Isaac H. Smith,
David Evander Reid, son of the teacher, William O. Nixon,
Henry I. Abbott, William Trent, and part of the time
Brevard and Adamson. I have not seen or heard of
any of them for many years, and, as all were older than my-
self, probably not one survives.
During this period the war of 1812 was declared, and I
well recollect the rejoicings, illuminations, torch-light pro-
cessions and paradings around the liberty pole that stood on
Main street, a little South of Havis's tavern, at the news of
every victory over the British, and particularly at the procla-
mation of peace.
An affecting scene was presented at the separation from
their families and friends of the volunteer regiment on its
departure for the coast under command of old Colonel Wil-
liam McWillie, of Lancaster, with his son William, my school-
mate, as Adjutant. The latter, some years later, was Presi-
dent of the Branch Bank of Camden, and after his removal
to Mississippi became Governor of that State. He was said
to have been the father of twenty children by one wife.
Camden contributed two companies to this regiment — the
Rifles, Captain Chapman Levy, and the Artillery, Captain
James Blair — not the giant General and member of Congress,
of the same name, who shot Tom Evans in a duel, nearly
killed Duff Green with a cudgel, and finally blew out his own
16 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
brains at Washington. Evans's excuse for missing so fii'iv a
mark was that the muzzle of Blair's pistol looked as big as a
barrel. General Blair was the second of Hopkins in his duel
with my former school-fellow, the eloquent and talented
Henry G. Nixon, at Augusta, where the latter was shot through
the heart at the first fire, his second being Governor John
Lide Wilson, author of the " Code of Honor," who had him-
self stood fire in a similar rencontre with a cigar in his
At a brigade encampment, in Camden, Blair's enormous
size attracted the rapt attention of all the idle boys, who
watched his movements and hung upon his words with won-
der and admiration. He showed forbearance and consider-
ation on that occasion by declining to compete with a con-
ceited and contentious young officer, whose vanity induced
him to make an exhibition of his strength and endurance, on
the ground that it might mortify the young man or lead to a
quarrel. In a very different spirit he provoked a challenge
from James H. Hammond, (afterwards Governor,) in a news-
paper discussion. On the arrival of the principals and their
seconds at the appointed place in North Carolina, Blair in-
vited the other party to visit him at his lodgings on the morn-
ing of the day when the fight was to come off, and when they
came asked all to take a drink, which was done. In a few
minutes he proposed to repeat the dose — in his words to
"black the other eye," — but when Hammond rose to com-
ply, his second, Colonel P. M. Butler, (also Governor after-
wards,) vetoed the proposition, saying that they had come
there to settle a serious difficulty; that his principal was un-
accustomed to taking spirits before breakfast, and that he
should drink no more till the affair was over. An amicable
adjustment was made in the course of the day. My remem-
brance of the big General closes with the statement that I
saw liim, William Dravton and* Mitchell, members of
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 17
Congress, burnt in effigy by a mob in the Main street of
Columbia, in the days of Nullification, Blair being repre-
sented by a bale of hay, with head, legs and feet attached.
He occupied so much space in the public view that a slighter
notice of him would have been unbecoming and dispropor-
The boys in our academy formed a uniformed artillery com-
pany, with two pieces resembling cannon, turned out of wood,
painted like brass, and mounted on wheels, having musket
barrels in the center, and touch-holes corresponding with
those in the guns, so that they fired very well, and we were
highly complimented by the famous war Governor, David R.
Williams, on our appearance in line at a regimental or
brigade review in Camden.
The whole community was greatly excited in July, 1815,
by the discovery of an intended insurrection of the negroes,
which was fixed for the Fourth. They were so confident of
success that the ring-leader had selected and named the
young lady who was to be his future wife. The jail was
crowded with suspected participants and guarded by armed
men day and night for some weeks. _ I saw four or five of
them hanged at one time and another afterwards upon the
As showing the severity of our laws in those days, I will
mention that I stood by while the Deputy Sheriff of Kershaw
branded a man with a hot iron on both cheeks and in the
forehead and then cut off his ears with a dull knife; and
that some years later I saw a white man receive twenty-five
stripes on his bare back, at the public whipping post, on three
or four successive sale days, for horse stealing, that offense
being at one time punishable by death on the gallows. And
it was a strange fact that this crime was committed as often
while threatened with capital punishment as before or after.
18 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
I played frequently on the grave of the Baron DeKalb, in
the middle of a lonely old field at the Southwest part of the
town. It was surmounted by a plain brick structure, three
or four feet high, covered by a white stone slab, with an in-
scription eulogizing his character and services. The corner-
stone of a more suitable monument to the memory of this
noble German, who, at the battle near Camden, sacrificed
his life in our cause, was laid in a more central location by
Lafayette, on his visit to the State in 1825, with imposing
Masonic ceremonies, and his remains were afterwards re-
moved and interred at the same spot. According to Weems's
Life of Marion, he received eleven wounds.
Of the clergy, I remember, besides Mr. Reid, my teacher.
Revs. Isaac Smith, Bond English, a one-eyed man,
Berry, and Mr. Mathis, Ordinary, who preached occasionally,
all Methodists. The leading citizens were the Canteys, Ches-
nuts, McRaes, Kershaws, Langs, Deases, Nixons, Abbotts,
Douglasses, Dobys, Carters, Reynolds, Whitakers, Blandings,
Boykins, Kenneciys, Warrens and others. Matt Wiggins was
Sheriff part of the time; Mickle, Tax Collector;
Carter, Congressman, and Phineas Thornton, Postmaster.
Camden had three churches — Methodist, Presbyterian and
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 19
COLUMBIA, 1S17 TO 1S22.
My Departure from Camden and Arrival in Columbia — Apprentice-
ship AND Return to Camden— Emigration Westward— Impor-
tance OF A Wafer— Trip to Augusta— John McLean— Match
Race Between Argyle and Bascom — Robert Waddell and
Colonel Preston — Hugh McLean, H. I. Caughman and Sid,
Johnson— Return to Lexington— Henry Shultz— Toasts.
Nothing further of general interest occurred during my
stay in Camden, and now I hope to be excused for giving a
hasty sketch of my future movements as connected with and
requisite to a proper understanding of what follows.
My poor dear mother died in 1815, and after boarding in
the family of James McKenzie, at McRae's Mill, about a
mile from the town, I finally quit school in September, 1817,
at the age of fourteen, and came to Columbia, where I was
bound as an apprentice for six years to Jacob Barrett, a
Jewish merchant, whose store stood on the site of that now
occupied by the Stanleys. On the day appointed for my
departure from McKenzie's, when the hour arrived for me to
bid the family farewell, the old lady (his wife) began to
lament at our separation and declared that she would as soon
part from one of her own children. This so completely over-
came me that the tears streamed from my eyes, and my heart
swelled up into my throat till it seemed as if I must suffocate.
It so happened that I was prevented from going on that day
and returned to the house till the morrow. Then, at the
appointed hour, to avoid a repetition of the distressing scene,
I stole out unperceived at the back door and fled as if for my
life. I never saw or heard from one of them again.
With Barrett I remained upwards of four years, when, com-
pletely tired out and disgusted by his continued ill-treatment,
notwithstanding my faithful and unrequited service, and
20 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
being old enough to think and act for myself, I decided, once
for all, to run away. This decision was carried into effect at
midnight on the 20th of January, 1822, when, under a bright
moon riding high in the heavens, and in a freezing atmos-
phere, with a handkerchief in my hand containing all the
clothing I possessed, except what was on me, I bade farewell
to my feliow apprentice, John G. Dunlap, and took the road
to Camden, where my father and one of my brothers still
resided. Out at Taylor's (now Dent's) mill the water was
above the foot-boards, and I was forced to wade, but its depth
did not exceed eighteen inches. After getting out, however,
it froze on me till I reached a camp of people moving to the
West, where I sat down, dried, warmed and rested. The
road from the Eastern border of this State and North Caro-
lina was then daily thronged with a continual stream of vehi-
cles of every conceivable class and description, laden with
women, children and household stuff, and accompanied by
their owners on horseback or afoot, with their negroes, dogs,
and sometimes cattle, all bound for the new lands in Georgia,
Alabama and Mississippi. The owner of the camp where I
stopped kindly offered me a passage to Mississippi free of
charge, but I was bent on continuing towards Camden, not
without the secret hope of being overtaken by Charles
Young's Theatrical Company, which, after performing all
the winter in Barrett's back store, and thus making my
acquaintance, was preparing to leave Columbia the next day.
If they had gone to Camden my intention was, with the con-
sent of the manager, to join them and become an actor, one
whose profession, to my youth and inexperience, seemed par-
ticularly attractive and enjoyable. They went some other
way, and I kept the road before me, having to break the ice
with my naked feet next morning in crossing a shallow but
rather wide stream. Late in the day I arrived at Camden in
wretched plight, my feet blistered, my joints sore and stiff-
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 21
ened, and my entire energies exhausted by fatigue and loss
of sleep. From this condition, however, I soon recovered.
Failing to find em-ployment in Camden, I obtained money
enough from some of my relatives to pay my fare to Augusta
in the stage, whither I set out about the middle of February,
leaving behind me in the postofifice a letter offering me just
such a situation as I desired above all others. It was from
the firm of Andrews & Keenan — Warren Andrews and Ro-
land Keenan — both of whom had been with me as clerks of
Barrett; had been afterwards set up in business by him, and
they now, with his approval, proposed employing me. Their
letter I failed to receive because a boy in the postoffice had
some weeks previously refused to give me a wafer, remark-
ing at the time that he kept them for sale, whereupon I
asked their price, and, being informed, bought a box,
resolving, as a rebuke for his insolence, that I would not
patronize his office, even so far as to ask for letters, and
thereby inflicting on myself greater punishment than I had
designed for him. And here, if I had time and inclination
to moralize on the importance of trifles, what sage reflections
might be uttered on the mysterious fact that a dispute be-
tween a couple of silly boys about so insignificant a thing as a
wafer should entirely change and control the destiny of myself
and my descendants. And on the other hand
" The best laid schemes o' mice and men
Gang, aft, agley."
On arriving in Columbia, instead of lying by privately or
secretly and ascertaining whether Barrett had the power or
the disposition to arrest and punish me as a runaway appren-
tice, which was what I dreaded, I got out of the stage in the
suburbs and went to the law office of Colonel James Gregg,
about where Cap Carroll's barber shop is, to consult him as
to my rights, but he was engaged and never could bear inter-
22 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
ruptions, so he gave me no satisfaction, and, without more
ado, I walked down to the stage office, at Dr. Sam Green's
hotel, opposite the State House, and took a passage for
The stage, carrying \.\\q fast mail, took two days and part
of two nights between Camden and Augusta. The line was
owned by John McLean of Fayetteville, N. C, who, from
being a stage driver, became a contractor for carrying the
mails, and at one time owned, I believe, the entire route from
Washington to New Orleans. This required a large outlay
and considerable financial capacity for its successful manage-
ment. He was assisted by his brothers, Hugh, Daniel and
Niel, with Gilbert Stalker, a steady old Scotchman, in the
Columbia office, which became his headquarters and was at
Adam Edgar's hotel, opposite Dr. McGregor's present drug
store. McLean must have made large profits by his con-
tracts. He was the sole owner of the street railroad, worked
by horse power, from Cotton Town through the middle of
Main and Bridge streets to the basin on the canal, where
Alexander Herbemont kept a warehouse for storing goods
and produce. But, like Judge Gantt's constable, he couldn't
bear promotion, and began to play the gentleman, a charac-
ter so happily drawn by Dr. Franklin, who probably had
more worldly wisdom than any other man our country has
produced. The Doctor said that soon after going to Eng-
land he asked his negro servant what he thought of the
country, and got this answer : " Massa, everybody work here ;
man work, woman work, child work, horse work, cow work,
all work but hog; hog walk about and do nothing, Just like
a gentleman.''^ Carlyle called such a gentleman yrz/^^fi" con-
sumere iiaii esquire.
To maintain his character of gentleman, he kept race horses
and made a match race of four mile heats for $5,000 or
^10,000 a side with Colonel Crowell, Indian Agent in Georgia,
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 23
to run his horse Duke of Argyle against John Bascom, at
Augusta. So confident of winning was he, that he went to
Augusta in a coach and four, taking along a number of car-
rier pigeons to convey the news of the result to Columbia in
the least possible time, and when some of his friends who
had come all the way from Kentucky begged a share in the
bet he refused. Never was disappointment greater than
when the race came off, for Argyle was distanced in the first
heat. His backers charged trickery on the other party,
asserting that they had obtained access to Argyle's stable the
night before and bled him nearly to death. However that
might be, they lost their money and their horse never ran
McLean, in walking up town one morning, accosted Rob-
ert Waddell at his store, where Agnew now keeps, with the
question whether he had heard of the good fortune just ex-
perienced by their mutual friend Colonel Preston, to which
Waddell replied in the negative. McLean then stated that
by the death of a relative Colonel Preston had fallen heir to
a very large estate, and then continued on his way. Waddell
went home immediately, put on his best suit and betook him-
self to Colonel Preston's, whom he greeted with his heartiest
congratulations. Preston asked what he meant, and, being
told, said: "Mr. Waddell, has it not occurred to you that
this is the first of April?" Thoroughly disgusted and dis-
comfited, Waddell went home, resumed his work-day cloth-
ing, and, returning to the store, armed himself with an axe-
handle and awaited McLean's reappearance, who called out
to him at a distance of twenty yards: " Well, Waddell, have
you found out that this is the first of April?" Waddell
replied, shaking the stick at him : " It's well for you that you
got the first word, or I'd have given you a taste of this shil-
lelah." Hugh McLean delighted in such jokes and in run-
ning rigs upon his friends. The winter before the great race
24 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
at Augusta Colonels H. I. Caughman and J. A. Addison of
Lexington went to the Camden races, where, according to
Hugh's account, they lost all their money, and, whilst con-
sulting in the street as to how they should get home, Caugh-
man saw an Italian with his monkey and organ, who seemed
to be doing a good business, and suggested to Addison that
they should join the organ grinder and thus work their way
back. Addison laughed at the joke, but Caughman took it
seriously, and swore if Hugh McLean and Sid Johnston
didn't quit talking about him, somebody would get a d — d
whipping. When the result of the race at Augusta became
known, Caughman took his revenge by writing to Hugh that,
if neces'sary, he would send a negro with a mule and cart to
bring him back to Columbia.
As a specimen of Johnston's manner, the following is
given : He and Caughman were addressing a Miss Kincaid
in Fairfield, and they both happened to meet and spend a
night at her house. A few days afterwards a female friend of
her mother asked the old lady which of the two was the
favorite. She said she believed Mary liked Mr. Johnston
best, but for her part she preferred Colonel Caughman, be-
cause after their departure she had gone* in to both of their
rooms, and in Johnston's found everything topsy-turvy — a
pillow in one place, a bolster in another, the bed clothes
tumbled up, and all about the place in utter confusion. In
Caughman's, on the contrary, everything was in place — the
bed neatly made, the room swept and dusted, the water
emptied, and all just as though nobody had been there, and
hence she inferred that for a quiet life he was the man. This
of course was purely an invention of Johnston's.
In Augusta, I wandered about a couple of days, wheii,
finding no encouragement, and being nearly out of money, I
one evening resolved on returning to Columbia afoot and
running the risk of Barrett's displeasure. The way was long
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 25
and weary, and the weather cold and inclement. The eve-
ning before reaching Lexington, on the way back, snow com-
menced falling and soon covered the ground, making travel
very uncomfortable in my thin clothes and worn-out shoes.
I recollect stopping and writing my name in the snow on the
roadside, thinking that, like it, I would probably soon pass
away unnoticed and unknown. But, thanks to the " Divinity
that shapes our ends" and controls all the issues of life, it
was ordered otherwise, and, after more than sixty years, I
still survive, though why, or for what purpose, He only
knows. The next morning, at Lexington, I was received
hospitably by John Meetze, who never turned the needy away
empty. We had long been acquainted at Barrett's, where,
as a country merchant, he bought most of his goods. He
employed me immediately as a clerk, at ^120 and my board
for the first year, on the condition that my old master had no
objection. This we soon found to be the case, and I was at
last made easy on that score and on all others in the near
future. It was full time, for my clothes were worn out and I
had but a half dollar in my pocket, after declining a pressing
invitation to eat at the house of Colonel Jones, in Edgefield,
whose wife seemed to suspect the real cause, namely, my
want of money and unwillingness to make that want known.
My stay at Lexington was prolonged for seventeen years,
until January, 1839, when I returned to Columbia and took
the place of Teller in the Commercial Bank.
But before giving my recollections of Columbia and Lex-
ington, I must devote some time to that extraordinary me-
chanical genius and practical engineer and financier, Henry
Shultz, whose character and career were too strange and re-
markable to be passed over without notice in a paper of this
kind, although it may occupy considerable space.
On returning from Augusta I passed through Hamburg,
which Shultz had then just fairly started to build in the midst
26 KANDOM RECOI.LECTIONS.
of a hideous swamp, which he had ditched and drained,
o]:)posite to Augusta, with the view of rivaling that city, by
intercepting the large quantity of cotton and other produce
that went there every year from our side of the river.
Originally from the ancient free city of Hamburg, on the
Elbe, he had come to Augusta some ten years previously,
with no capital but his head and his hands. Engaging as a
day laborer on a pole boat, he soon began to build and run
his own boats to" and from Savannah. Then he erected the
Augusta Bridge, on a plan of his own, which stood for fifty
years or more, uninjured by freshets that swept away others
constructed by professional architects according to the most
approved scientific principles. In connection with his part-
ner, John McKinne, he established the Bridge Bank of
Augusta, and issued bills that, by their prompt redemption,
obtained a wide circulation in the Southern States and were
preferred by many people to all others. His banking house
stood at the Augusta end of the bridge, on the North side of
the street leading from it to and across Broad street, and at
one time he owned a number of other houses on the same
range. But difficulties arose between him and some of the
other Augusta banks, and, after a long struggle, in which
each by turns had the advantage, they managed to present
more of his bills than he could meet, had them protested,
sued on, and by a summary process, which he tried to resist,
levied on, sold and bought in the bridge and all his other
property in Augusta. He struggled to the last, refusing to
vacate the premises till dispossessed by main force, under an
order of the Court, and then resorted to the expedient of
erecting a toll gate at the other end of the bridge, where he
exacted payment from all passengers, until prohibited by an
injunction from the United States Court, after prolonged and
expensive litigation, in which Judge Butler, of Edgefield, and
Richard H. Wikle, of Augusta, were opposing counsel. In
a fit of desperation, on the day when this injunction was en-
forced, he attempted to commit suicide by discharging a
loaded pistol in his mouth, but it happened to range upwards
and outwards, so that the load came out between his eyes,
frightfully mutilating him for the time, and leaving indelible
marks of the powder in his face, yet, strange to say, he re-
covered, with his eyesight unimpaired. His Hamburg pro-
ject proved measurably successful ; the town grew and pros-
pered for several years, enjoying an extensive trade, to the
serious detriment of Augusta. The Legislature incorporated
the place, Shultz being Mayor, and chartered the Bank of
Hamburg, of which Wyatt W. Starke (father of William
Pinckney Starke, Esq.,) was first President, and Hiram Hutch-
inson, Cashier. But a fatality, caused apparently by Shultz's
violent temper, baffled all his efforts. A trunk was stolen
from a wagon yard in the town, and he, as Mayor, had a
young man from the country arrested on suspicion of having
committed the theft. To make him confess, the Mayor or-
dered him to be severely whipped, in consequence whereof
he died, and Shultz was indicted for murder, imprisoned
many months at Edgefield, and narrowly escaped ending his
turbulent and eventful life on the gallows. I saw him fre-
quently whilst autocrat of Hamburg, and long after when he
haunted the halls of the Legislature vainly seeking redress or
revenge for his losses in Augusta. A tall, erect old man,
wearing a heavy Waterloo coat that reached his heels, and
bearing, as it were, the brand of Cain in hi^ forehead. At
Shultz's death he left a will bequeathing all his right, title
and interest in the bridge to his friends Jones and Kennedy.
They employed Carroll & Bacon of Edgefield to look into the
matter and were advised by their counsel to invoke from the
Legislature the right of eminent domain on the part of this
State in one-half of the Savannah River, and to grant them
the privilege of erecting a toll gate at the South Carolina
28 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
end of the bridge. This was done, and when the President
of the bridge company in Augusta threatened to demolish the
South Carolina toll gate by firing a cannon at it, Jones replied
that two could play at that game, reminding him that
Shultz had left a couple of old cannon on the hill in Hamburg,
which was six hundred feet above Augusta, and that he would
certainly return the fire. Finally the case was compromised
by the Augusta owners paying ten thousand dollars to
Shultz' s heirs under the will. His famous anti-climax toast,
given when we were trying non-intercourse as a remedy for
the tariff, was : '•' Freemen's rights and homespun.''^ And this
reminds me of some other toasts. Mr. Coe, a violent
''Union man" and member of the Richland Volunteer Rifle
Company, at a Fourth of July celebration in 1832, gave
expression to his sentiments by the words: '' Church, State
and Nullification — three d'nd rascally principles." Where-
upon the company immediately expelled him by an unanimous
vote. He afterwards explained his reference to Church and
State as meaning no objection to either separately, but
intending to condemn their union. Our game-cock Gov-
ernor, Stephen D. Miller's celebrated toast was: ''The
three boxes preservative of liberty — the jury box, the ballot
box and the cartridge box." He, by the bye, was
inaugurated as Governor in a full suit of homespun, and when
speaking earnestly made most awfully ugly faces, as if suffer-
ing intense torture. Old Billy Jones, at Lexington, gave :
"Our liberty pole is not straight, but it leans towards General
Jackson," when old Hickory was a candidate for the Presi-
dency. And when a great jollification took place in October,
1832, at Isaac Coleman's theatre and circus, on the corner
where Mrs. Dial now lives, over the election of the candi-
dates in favor of Nullification, General James H. Adams and
Colonel William C. Preston being elected to the House of
Representatives, the former gave: "The rights of freemen,
constitutional or not," and the latter, instantly after the
firing of a rocket, "The State of South Carolina ; may she
rise like that rocket, not to descend like it in silence and
darkness, but to remain a fixed star in the firmament."
From Coleman's the crowd marched with military music to
greet some of the leading Nullifiers, calling first on Colonel
James Gregg, who went with us to the College, where old
Dr. Cooper made a short speech, and then to Colonel J. J.
Chappell's, on the corner now occupied by the Presbyterian
printing office. After hearing him, F. C. Barber exclaimed,
"if the church isn't with us, the chapel is." Finally we
adjourned to Charley Dukes's saloon, near where Palmer's
tin shop now is; and at ii o'clock I left Barber and Colonel
Preston engaged in an encounter of wits, while old Tom
Baker was singing a smutty song to Colonel Gregg, probably
the only one of the kind the Colonel ever heard.
COLUMBIA, 1811 TO 1S22.
Introduction of Steam, with Its Effects — Magnetic Telegraph —
Express Companies — Water Works, Gas Works and Other Im-
provements AND Inventions — Changes in Habits, Utensils, Dis-
eases, &c. — Roads, Streets and Ferries — Drowning of Young
Blocker— Market and Butchers.
When I came here in 181 7 the use of steam in moving
railroad cars, steamboats and machinery for manufacturing
purposes, with its incalculable effects on trade, travel and
products, was utterly unknown. We had no telegraph to
give us before breakfast yesterday's news from all parts of the
civilized world. The reports of the Liverpool cotton mar-
ket, for example, were brought by sailing vessels after a voy-
age of three to six weeks. It was not till 1852 that steam-
ships began to make regular trips across the ocean, and in
1858 the first Atlantic cable was successfully laid and operated.'''
Then no Express Company for a trifling compensation took
the risk and labor and guaranteed the safe delivery, at our
very doors, of all packages, regardless of their size, weight
or value. No water works brought into every house that in-
dispensable necessity of civilized life. A pump stood at the
Court House corner on Main street to supply the population
of the surrounding squares and to fill the firemen's buckets
in time of a fire. No gas works, kerosene or matches. At
night candles were kept burning, or flint and steel were
used to strike a light in case of emergency.
What an enormous aggregate of toil and capital are in-
volved in these vast and varied operations, and what an im-
mense number of people now depend upon them for support !
We were without a city clock to give the time by day or
by night, but a policeman cried the hours at the street cor-
ners, from bell ring (9 or 10) at night till daylight. No
telephone enabled us to communicate with distant points by
word of mouth ; no spectrum analysis told us that other
planets were composed of like materials with our own; no
heliograph conveyed messages hundreds of miles by the light
reflected from a bit of looking glass; and no photographic
apparatus recorded with unerring certainty the lineaments of
our faces, our houses or the surrounding scenery.
Surely the witness or cotemporary of these great and
numerous novelties and mutations may claim that he has lived
in an age of progress.
But these were not all, and I will briefly mention promis-
cuously such others as occur to me at the moment.
In the four years of my stay with Barrett, I never saw a
commercial drummer or book agent. India rubber was used
*I have a New York newspaper dated January 4th, 1800, with the latest arrival
from Europe, containing extracts from the London papers of the 20th October, the day
of the vessel's departure.
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 31
j-(?/<?/y for erasing pencil marks; steel pens were not used at
all, writing being done with quill pens, and it was quite an
accomplishment to be able to make them well; we had no
envelopes — letters were generally on a double sheet, folded
so as to hide the writing; postage on single letters for long
distances was twenty-five cents, and prepayment was not re-
quired ; merchants did not generally deliver goods at the
houses of their town customers, but required purchasers to
take them away ; men never wore moustaches, nor carried
pistols, unless absolutely necessary ; there were no breech-
loading cannon, repeating rifles or revolving pistols; no per-
cussion caps. When guns were advertised as firing without
flint or steel, I could not conceive how it was effected. But
in nothing has there been a greater change than in the price
of books. I bought a copy of the first edition of Irving's
Sketch Book. It was in six numbers, with paper covers like
our present monthly magazines, but without illustrations,
and cost seventy-five cents per number, or ^4.50 for the en-
tire work. Now I can get it unabridged and in better style
for less than twenty cents.
Even our diseases and their treatment have greatly changed.
Fever and ague prevailed all over the State, except, perhsps,
in the mountains. The ague commonly came on in the fore-
noon, causing the patient to chatter with cold 'Mn spite of
his teeth," and, lasting about an hour, was followed by a high
fever and perspiration, passing off in sleep. It returned near
the same hour on the first, second or third day, and often
continued for months. For it the doctors gave calomel and
jalap, (often producing salivation,) glauber salts, castor oil,
Peruvian bark and tartar emetic, with copious draughts of
warm water to induce vomiting. All these I have taken again
and again. Cold water was absolutely forbidden, even when
the sufferer was almost dying of thirst. In addition, the lan-
cet was used freely, and I have seen bleeding afford as sud-
32 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
den and complete relief in high fever as ever was produced
on the nerves by hypodermic injection, yet it is now hardly
ever resorted to.
Instead of buggies, we drove gigs and sulkies — the seats
perched high up on two wheels, with shafts held up by tugs.
These — the shafts or the tugs — were continually breaking and
throwing the riders under their horses' heels.
Roads in the country and streets in town were in wretched
condition. In Columbia a huge mud-hole lay open in front
of Jimmy Hall's grocery and boarding house on Main street,
near where Mrs. Robinson's clothing store now is, in which
old Tom Harvey, the brawny well-digger, earned many a half
pint by wallowing like a hog in the coldest weather, and it
was said he would jump into a well for a quart. Jimmy Hall
had a mill on the canal, which he said ''run like a looseness."
The street had many ridges and hollows, cut into deep ruts
in wet weather, there being quite a steep hill between Comer-
ford's and the corner above, where the postoffice now stands,
and many a wagon and team stalled and stuck fast on the hill
beyond Fisher's mill pond, on the road to Granby, where
the boats landed and all heavy freights were received and
delivered. No bridge crossed either of the rivers near Co-
lumbia, and in time of high water the ferries endangered life
and limb. Once, when a freshet compelled the ferryman to
let go the rope by which he pulled the flat across the Con-
garee, the stage, with a full load of passengers, went drifting
down the river. Young Blocker, a College student from
Edgefield, who was on his way home, being a good swimmer,
stripped off his clothes to swim ashore, but it was supposed
one of the stage horses that had been unharnessed and pushed
overboard to lighten the load struck him on the back with
his feet, and he sank to rise no more, till his lifeless body was
found several miles below. Jack Wey, a dissipated young
man from Sumter, was on board, and, fearing he would not
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS, 33
escape, swore he would have one more drink before drown-
ing, and, suiting the action to the word, pulled out his flask
and swigged his liquor. In floating down the flat passed
under a tree on the bank, and, by holding on to a limb till
help came from the shore, all were saved.
The Columbia Ferry belonged for many years to Elisha
Daniel, and was worked by Isom Clark. The market, before
being built at the Opera House corner, was held under a big
oak on the South side of Senate street, East of Richardson,
the principal butchers being old Ben Harrison, George Steel
and Elisha Hammond. The latter was a tutor and Steward
of the College — father of James H. Hammond, afterwards
Governor, — and some years later he moved into the sand
hills in Lexington with the visionary purpose of making a
fortune by raising the Pabna Christi or castor oil plant.
Stump speaking was not practiced outside of Virginia. We
had no three-pronged silver or plated forks — split spoons, as
they were first called. Such names as Jenny, Molly, Sally
and Betty we spelt like very, body and belly, without the
present termination of ie in place of y.
No public billiard table was allowed within five miles of
Columbia. Merchants did not deliver goods at the houses
of their customers, but purchasers took them away.
In short, the public and private life of our people was in
many respects as different as though we had inhabited another
world. Yet we contrived to live and enjoy ourselves, per-
haps, as much as people do now.
34 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
COL UMB I A. —Continued.
Business Houses on Main Street and Their Occupants— John D.
Brown and Family— D. & J. J. Faust— Terence, James and John C.
O'Hanlon — The Bryces — Daniel Morgan — Adam Edgar — Dr. F.
W. Green — Dr. Percival — John Parr — The Purvises and Hunts —
Major Hart— Old State House— Isaac Frazier and Isaac H.
Coleman— Little Levy— R. E. Russell and His Garden.
Now I shall proceed to give my recollections of the busi-
ness men, with their locations, on Main street.
Next below Barrett's, now Stanley's, stood the jail, some
distance back from the street. It was kept by John D. (Dic-
tionary) Brown, Deputy Sheriff, a man of strong " contribunc-
tion," who once made a return that he had taken a defendant
with a casement, but he had broke customary and was lying
out in ambition. He had a son, a jack-leg Methodist ex-
horter, and several daughters, one of whom was the wife of
Henry McGowan, who still lives here, and another was first
married to Passmore, a clerk in Hall's shoe store, and after
his death to Mr. Bauskett of Newberry, a brother of Colonel
John Bauskett, a well known lawyer and citizen of Columbia,
and father of the present United States Commissioner. At
Lexington, on one occasion, the son, who was tongue-tied,
occupied the pulpit, and I could hardly keep from laughing
in meeting, when he said, evidently repeating a sentence that
he had carefully memorized as sure to bring down the
house : ''Then you will thee the tharthe thinking from their
thilver thocketth while Gabriel ith preaching hith latht
funeral thermon to the thun." At Cantwell's corner, Daniel
M. & John J. Faust, State Printers, published the Weekly
State Gazette for many years — the only newspaper in the
place. Their office on the ground floor opening to the
street, with its old-time lever press worked by hand, was the
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 35
admiration of many visitors from the country. The senior
partner, Daniel Faust, an exemplary member of the Metho-
dist Church, had six children, three sons and three daugh-
ters — John M., a gambler and "ne'er do well;" Edwin, a
physician, died young; and Clem, who married a daughter
of Dr. Bratton, of Winnsboro, and soon sent her home
because they disagreed; Susan, a great beauty, became the
wife of Wm. Brickell, a young lawyer; Jane died at an
early age of consumption, and Mary, married to Dr. Pierce
of Alabama, is still alive. The daughters claimed that their
father was not a mechanic but an artist. General John J.
Faust lived on the North side of Boundary street. West of
Main, where he had rope works during the war. The office
was afterwards turned into a shoe store and kept by Hall &
Co., Yankees, who dealt in good stock and got high prices.
They were succeeded by G. M. Thompson, who carried on
the business successfully and sold out to Mitchell & Hood.
Mr. Thompson, when an old bachelor, married Mrs. Ann
Sims, whose first husband, a printer, had deserted her and
gone West. Thompson died, I believe, during the war,
leaving a handsome property, wjiich was much reduced sub-
sequently. M. A. Shelton, a nephew of Thompson, came
here from Connecticut and married Mrs. Thompson's daugh-
ter by Sims, and his widow survived till a year or two ago.
The Sheltons, her descendants, are still with us.
Just below the printing office, Terence O'Hanlon, (Old
Terrible,) a burly Irishman, kept a dirty little grocery and
owned a huge blunderbuss, which he always fired ®ff at
Christmas and Fourth of July, and would have used on the
mischievous youths who hung a stuffed Paddy on his door on
St. Patrick's day in the morning if he could have discovered
who they were. His brother, who.se name I have forgotten,
had two sons, James and John C, and three daughters,
Hannah, the wife of Dr. Jones, Catharine, married to
Sweeny the printer, and Ann, who rather late in life became
the wife of a shoemaker named Smith.
Major James O'Hanlon of Log Castle, after serving an
apprenticeship to the saddler's trade in Philadelphia, re-
turned to Columbia, studied and practiced law, was always a
consistent and enthusiastic Jackson man, became a member
of the Legislature and married a daughter of Colonel David
Myers, who gave him a valuable plantation and a number of
negroes. He delivered a Fourth of July oration at Lexing-
ton, the best part of which was taken, without acknowledg-
ment, from one by Robert Y. Hayne. Whilst he was a
member of the House, Wm. E. Martin, Clerk of the Senate,
gave Baskins, the Messenger, 3. note from Pemberton, State
Printer, telling him to deliver it to the ugliest man in the
Representative Hall, and Baskins, after looking about, pre-
sented it to O'Hanlon, who said it was not for him, but Bas-
kins insisted that, from the description, he must be the man.
John C. O'Hanlon, a noted gambler, married a Miss Ham-
ner, sister of Mrs. A. M. Hunt. At one time, while rich,
he built a fine brick hotel, just North of the present Colum-
While serving on the jury in Columbia the Major got into
a dispute with Judge James, and afterwards procured the
impeachment of His Honor for drunkenness on the bench,
which, I think, resulted in his conviction and dismissal from
John Bryce, a bright, brisk little Scotchman, had a 12 by
15 shoe shop next below Terence O'Hanlon, where he made
my first pair of shoes after my arrival, which, bye the bye,
were too small and pinched my toes most painfully. By
untiring energy and keen intelligence he amassed a large for-
tune and became a leader in many useful enterprises, being one
of the founders and Directors of the Commercial Bank of
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 37
Columbia, the original projector and first President of our Gas
Light Company and a large stockholder in the Congaree and
Broad River Bridge Companies. He, his brother Robert and
his sister Jane were devoted members of the Methodist
Church, and his other sister married James Young, the owner
of Young's Mill. Robert Bryce presided over the first Sun-
day school in Columbia, assisted by Miss Johnson, a daugh-
ter of Rev, Wm. B. Johnson of the Baptist Church, and Mrs.
Peck, a Presbyterian, I believe, who still survives. She was
the wife of Mr. Peck, a merchant tailor, and daughter of Dr.
Thomas Parks, Professor in the South Carolina College. John
Dunlap and I went to this Sunday school several months.
Next below was Colonel James Gregg's law office, and then,
came Daniel Morgan's brick store and dwelling with slate
roof, claiming to be fireproof; his dry goods occupying the
Northern end and the book store of Morgan & Guirey that at
the South, with a passage between them leading to apartments
above. James L. Clark, known long after as an officer in the
Branch Bank, was one of Mr. Morgan's clerks. After failing
in business, Mr. Morgan retired to the sand hills in Lexing-
ton, near Granby, where he had, married into the Arthur fam-
ily, and passed the rest of his days in deer hunting, mostly
on foot. In this active and peaceful pursuit he lived to a
good old age, apparently never regretting the loss of his
Adam Edgar's tavern and tailor shop were at the corner
below, where, with the help of his wife Fanny, by strict
economy and constant vigilance, he accumulated a large
estate. A blustering Scotchman and devout Methodist, he
used to say he 'Miked a preacher that hammered the rust off
the sinners." His old mother he brought over from Scot-
land, and it was said she sat on his front steps and asked
every passing negro if he belonged to "Audam." Having
no children, he provided handsomely for his wife, and left
38 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
the rest of his property to the family of his relative, George
Shiell, saying, when advised to secure it from being wasted
by them, that if they did so it would be all right. Shiell was
the man that proposed, when a subscription had fallen short
in the Presbyterian Church, that each subscriber should
double his amount, and being asked what he had subscribed
replied twenty-five cents.
Edgar's Inn changed owners often after his death, falling
by turns into the hands of Mr. , of Charleston ; Col-
onel Wm. Maybin, of Newberry, with Colonel A. H. Glad-
den, of Fairfield, who, as General, was killed at Shiloh in
1863; J. C. Janney, Dr. T. J. Goodwyn and Wm. Glaze,
as partners, and of Janney & Leaphart, till the memorable
night of February 15th, 1865, when Columbia was laid in
ashes by Sherman's men, of which event I hope to give an
account in the sequel.
At the corner across Lady street was then, or soon after, a
drug store owned by Dr. Sam Green and kept by Dr. F. W.
Green, recently deceased, and still later by Dr. Samuel Per-
cival. Dr. F. W. Green's wife was a daughter of Wm.
Briggs, the builder of the Columbia Bridge, and her sister
was first married to Hugh McLean and afterwards to Henry
Davis. Dr. Green built the Red Bank Cotton Factory in
Lexington, which is in successful operation and gives em-
ployment to forty or fifty hands. He left a large family, his
sons all seeming to have inherited a turn for mechanical busi-
ness. Dr. Percival owned mills in Richland sand hills, and
also left a large number of children, among them our present
County Auditor, who, when quite a youth, was a Mexican
This store afterwards belonged to Isaac Lyons, father of
Henry and Jacob C, who kept it as a grocery. Captain
Henry Lyons once told me that his grandfather had been
burnt alive in Lisbon on account of his religion.
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 39
Lower down on the same square were John Parr's furni-
ture shop and store and the dry goods establishments of
Thomas Arthur, John J. Say lor — who afterwards moved to
Sandy Run, in Lexington, — and Latta & Walter, the last
being continued across the street just below Hunt's Hotel.
Mr. Parr built a fine brick dwelling on the Northeast corner
of Plain and Sumter streets, which was afterwards owned by
John Waring, Dr. H. H. Toland, J. Duncan Allen and Dr.
R. W. Gibbes till burnt by General Sherman.
The Purvises, Scotch merchants, who left here about the
time I came, kept one of the largest groceries on the corner
of Main and Gervais streets, now occupied by R. M. Ander-
son, afterwards known as Lyons's. The Hunts, two or three
in number, succeeded the Purvises, and one of them mar-
ried a daughter of old Dr. Hughes, who lived on the West
side of Main street, above Ainsley Hall's corner.
Across Gervais street, at the corner of the State House lot,
dwelt Gersham Chapman, successor of Dr. Sam Green as
Postmaster, in a dwelling afterwards kept as a boarding house
by Major Benjamin Hart. In an election for Intendant
Major Hart and Bernard Reilly received a tie vote, and when
it was tried over the Major was elected by a majority of two.
This election turned somewhat on the question of wet or dpy,
Reilly being a retailer, while Hart was a strict Methodist and
temperance man. The latter lived in Lexington at one time,
was Senator from that District and owned Kennerly's or
Hart's Ferry on Saluda, his wife being a widow Herron, a
member of the Bell family of Granby. His daughter,
Claudia, married ''Dot" Means, of Fairfield, and Miss Mary
became the wife of Colonel Robert Preston, of Virginia.
The old State House, built of wood, stood near the South-
ern end of the square, a little West of Main street, facing
East, with a portico in front, reached by a broad flight of
steps on each side, beneath which was the entrance to the
40 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
State executive offices and the Branch Bank on the Southwest
corner. Abov^ stairs the House occupied the Northern and
the Senate the Southern end, separated by a broad passage or
lobby, which was crossed by another leading from front to
rear, the spaces between them forming t:ommittee rooms.
When B. F. Hunt, a member of the House from Charleston,
succeeded in passing an appropriation for the building of a
new State House, Charles McCullough, stonemason, con-
tracted to lay the foundation on the site of the old house,
which, notwithstanding its size, was easily removed by the
use of a capstan and a horse or two. After the walls had got
some feet above ground, they were found to be so defective
that they were taken down and rebuilt across Main street
where the building now stands.
On the corner below was located the tavern afterwards
known as Wm. G. Huntt's, to which Isaac Frazier removed
from Bryce's stand, corner of Main and Blanding streets.
Frazier was a regular gambler, and John W. Clark, who
aspired to the position of a public censor, once prevailed on
him to swear that he had seen James Boatwright, Judah Bar-
rett and other respectable citizens playing cards for money.
On this Clark expected to found an indictment against them
for gambling. But Frazier was better known to Barrett than
to Clark, and before the Court met he made oath that his
former affidavit was a mistake and the parties implicated were
innocent of the charge. Isaac H. Coleman, who married
Frazier's only daughter, Maria, was a great fop, and I have
seen him decked in the height of the fashion then prevail-
ing — a bottle-green cassimere coatee, buff Marseilles vest and
loose pantaloons of the finest white linen, with a ruffled shirt,
a bell-crowned black beaver hat, and around his neck a black
Barcelona silk handkerchief showing a double bow knot in
front, while on his feet were white silk socks and low-quar-
tered pumps. Many years afterwards, being suspected, on
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 41
apparently good grounds, of giving free papers to negroes
that absconded from Columbia to the North, he was notified
by Colonel R. H. Goodwin and some other leading citizens
to leave the place within a week, on pain of what might fol-
low, and refused peremptorily, but on reflection concluded to
comply, and disappeared till after the war, when he came
back and lived among us to the end of his days.
Below the State House several retailers did a considerable
business. Among them was "little Levy," a conceited and
diminutive specimen of the Hebrew race, so great an admirer
of Colonel Preston that he made him his heir, and when on
the jury refused to decide against his clients, arguing that no
one had ever caught Preston in a lie or known him to com-
mit a mean act.
Opposite the State House Robert E. Russell, formerly a
tailor, had, somewhat later, a flower garden of an acre in
extent, where he received a handsome income from the sale of
roses and other plants. He lived at the Northwest corner of
Washington and Assembly streets, in the previous residence
of John Glover, and had married Martha Taylor, a beautiful
and notorious woman, who deserted him for Durang, a
dancer in Young's Theatre, and some years later stabbed to
death another prostitute, for which crime she suff'ered a long
imprisonment, but finally escaped a conviction for murder.
42 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
Main Strt^st, E vst Side— Dk. Sam Green— Business Men and Tueir
Houses from Gervais to Lady Street — From Lady to Washington —
From Washinotpn to Plain, Including the Court House— From
Plain to Camden or Taylor Street — From Taylor to Blanding —
From Blanding to Laurel.
Next North of Russell's garden was the tavern of Dr.
Sam Green, Postmaster, and for several terms Intendant of
the town, who had the habit of exclaiming "Ah!" when-
ever addressed. He presided at a public meeting on the
death of ex-President Monroe, and when Colonel Gregg,
rising to present the resolutions, said, in his blunt way,
"Mr. Chairman, Mr. Monroe's dead," the Doctor responded
with a prolonged "Ah !" that excited the merriment of the
crowd and added nothing to the gravity of the occasion.
The postoffice was in a little wooden building just Nortli
of the hotel. Across Gervais street John Rabb kept a tavern
at the corner where Barney Reilly afterwards did a prosper-
ous business in the grocery line. About midway of the
square Peter McGuire, an Irishman, made large gains by
boarding and selling liquor to his countrymen who worked
on the canal. On Lady street, near to Main, was a public
house owned by Colonel Clairborne Clifton, a club-footed
lawyer and Methodist preacher, and kept by Chestine E.
Williamson, whose wife had been the widow of Dr. Hendrix,
and after Williamson's death married Wm. Hilligas, who
soon died, and she then continued the business there, as also
at a later period in John O'Hanlon's new hotel and at the
corner now kept by Mrs. Wright. Colonel Tom Campbell and
McNary succeeded Mrs. Hilligas at the corner long after
known as Hunt's Hotel, which was carried on for some time
by Dr. Thomas Briggs and then by A. M. Hunt. When
burnt by Sherman's army in 1865, it was in possession of T.
S. Nickerson, who soon after opened in the Female College
Crossing Lady street, we find on the North a boarding
house by James Cammer from Charleston, which afterwards
passed into the hands of George Shiell, and still later was
kept as a confectionery and cigar store by Captain Henry
Beard. Near the middle of the square was a range of
mechanics' shops, reaching almost to the corner of Washing-
ton street, viz., John Glover's, coachmaking; Middleton
Glaze's, blacksmith ; and James Boatwright's, cotton gins,
where the latter toiled unceasingly at his trade till it made
him one of the richest men in the place, his gins being in
great demand, without competition, as far South and West as
Louisiana. Where his shops then stood Sidney Crane after-
wards carried on a grocery, and just below Wm. Hillery was
engaged in the same business. At the corner adjoining his
shops Dr. Augustus Fitch dealt in drugs and medicines.
His residence was on the present court house corner, where
he reared a numerous family, and, though quite illiterate,
spent a long and useful life, universally beloved and respected
for his correct principles, sound judgment, simple manners,
and generous, benevolent disposition, which was often im-
posed on to his great loss. Four of his daughters were mar-
ried, respectively, to Thomas Hutchinson, James Fleming,
Eli Kennerly and James D. Tradewell, whose habits he dis-
approved of, and he used to say the Devil owed him a grudge
and paid him in sons-in-law. Burwell, his oldest son, married
a Miss Watson, and moved to Edgefield, where he still lives.
The widow of James Sampson, his second son, a sister of Dr.
C. H. Miot, is also still living. And among the many ladies
in Columbia who nursed and waited on our suffering soldiers
in the war, I have heard Mrs. Sampson Boatwright and Mrs.
44 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
Drusy Rawls, wife of Dr. Thomas Rawls, mentioned as par-
ticularly active and efficient. Dr. John H. Boatwright, the
third son, had for his wife Miss Mary Freeman, who, after
his death, removed to Wilmington, N. C. Her mother was
married to F. A. Tradewell, who, since her death, went to
Sumter, where he still resides. Mr. Boatwright and John
Glover married sisters of the Faust family, above Columbia.
Glover left Columbia for a place some three miles above,
where he kept a public house for many years. The court
house stood at the Northeast corner of Main and Washing-
ton streets, on a lot that extended to where McKenzie's con-
fectionery is now. There it joined to "Uncle Sammy Her-
ring's" grocery and hardware establishment, which, when he
moved to Boundary street, was continued with great success
by his nephew David Ewart, a little, crooked, energetic and
well informed Irishman. Unfortunately, in his old age, he
got to dabbling in cotton, and, with his positive, dogmatic
temperament, assumed to know more about the state of the
market, both at home and abroad, than any one else. As in
the case of others holding such opinions, he backed his judg-
ment, and that to an extent that, when his calculations failed,
cost him all that he was worth and much more. Besides this,
a fire, commencing in his back store, burnt up his goods and
buildings, with nearly half the rest of the square. He had
erected a hotel adjoining the court house lot, which was
tenanted successively by John W. Clark, before he opened
at the sign of the Horse on Blanding and Main streets, and
by James Rush, a brother-in-law of Richard and Thomas
Mr. Ewart and Colonel Blanding erected the Saluda
Factory, the first large establishment of the kind in the
State. It has since changed hands many times, being first
sold at a very heavy loss to the Fishers, Edward H. and
John, who had been operating a small affair of the kind at
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 45
what is now known as Dent's Mill; and afterwards to Dr. R.
W. Gibbes, when it was managed by his son, James G.
Gibbes, who is still among us. North of Evvart's was the
millinery shop of Turner Bynum and wife, who had several
children — one, bearing his father's name, soon after graduat-
ing in college, became an editor at Greenville and was killed
in a duel by Major (since Governor) B. F. Perry. Alfred,
another son, set out with fair prospects as a lawyer in Colum-
bia, but became dissipated, went West and was killed at the
Alamo. Of Bynum's daughters, one was married to I. C.
Morgan, the printer, and another to John G. Bowman, at
one time editor of the Temperance Advocate ; and his widow
in her old age was Matron of the Orphan House on Wash-
ington street. Next to Bynum's was ''the cheapest store
under the sun," kept by a Jew whose name I have forgotten,
and then came the dry goods store of "Black-eyed Billy
Taylor," whose residence was on the corner. Mr. T., a rela-
tive of the old patriarchal family of that name, subsequently
moved to Lexington, near Piatt Springs, on Congaree Creek.
One of his daughters married Isaac H. Smith, an old class-
mate of mine in Camden, who taught school both at Lexing-
ton and in Columbia; another, the wife of P. G. McGregor,
is still living here; and still another, married to Jacob Bell,
was the mother of Mrs. C. H. Miot.
Dr. B. F. Harris, a learned, eccentric and snappish little
Englishman, had a drug store on' the site now occupied by
the Central National Bank, and built a brick theatre at the
Northwest corner of Plain and Assembly streets. He tried
to increase his income by issuing change bills as proprietor
of the theatre, but they obtained only a very limited circula-
tion. His stand was kept for a while as a clothing and dry
goods store by R. A. Taylor, whose initials caused some fun,
as also did those of B. D. & T. H. Plant, booksellers, at R.
L. Bryan's place of business ; they being interpreted as Be
D/n/ a.nd Toiichhole Plant. The next, door neighbors of Dr.
Harris at that time I have fprgotten, but some years later
Levi Sherman and Levi Hawley, saddles and harness; Harvey
Davis, carriages, &c., and T. S. Dickinson, who was suc-
ceeded by Stevenson «Sz: Walker, merchant tailors, all made
considerable fortunes in their respective callings.
The millinery and general stock of John Black and his
wife Margaret was near where Dr. Fisher's drug store is now.
Mr. and Mrs. Black were both Irish and Methodists. His favor-
ite saying was "ought from ought leaves nothing, but, if any-
thing, you owe me a half bushel of corn." She had a shrewd
turn for business and a very sharp tongue for those who dis-
pleased her. Their daughter Jane, a gay, dashing young
lady, married Wm. Cline, a Northern man and editor of
more than one newspaper at different times. Her brother,
Alex. Brodie, was noted for his prowess as a bruiser, of great
muscular strength and rather quarrelsome disposition, who
would fight for fair play and always took the side of the weaker
party. Once, while living in Granby, he invited a few
friends to go with him some miles below and see him 70/iop
a fellow who had crossed him. The fellow refused to fight
till Brodie, in his eagerness for the combat and his confi-
dence of victory, offered and actually paid him five dollars
for the satisfaction of beating him, and then, to his great dis-
appointment, got the worst whipping he ever had in his life.
In a quarrel with a circus man over a dog fight he said
"Dash can whop your lion, and Dash's mammy can whop
your hyenia, and iil' n you I can whop you." To a young
man who said that his gray hairs protected him, he replied :
"My gray hairs are not in your way." His wife was of a
German family in Lexington, and he used to say that the
Irish and the Dutch made a "dom'd bad assoartment." When
asked by some temperance men to join their society, he
declined, but advised them to try Mrs. B., and she, in turn,
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 47
when applied to, refused, and recommended that they go to
Aleck. Mr. Peter Bryce, on being urged to sign the pledge,
declared that if he were to do so there would be no rest for
him till he had gone off and got drunk. John I. Walter, a
Philadelphian, kept a hardware store next below Mr. Black's
and married Sarah Nutting, by whom he had one son, Wm.
T., whose widow, Mrs. M. C. Walter, still survives. About
this time Richard Sondley, from Newberry, commenced busi-
ness near the present site of Duffie's book store. He was
one of the few speculators in cotton that made money and
kept it. His profits one year were thirty thousand dollars,
but he lost nearly as much the next season. His first wife
was Miss Slappy, of Savanahunt, in Lexington, and his
second a widow of the Alexander family on French Broad
River, North of Asheville, N. C.
Above Sondley, Miller & Poole had a shoe store. Thos.
Porter Miller, son of the former, is a banker and broker of
many years' standing in Mobile, Alabama.
At the Southeast corner of Main and Camden streets Zebu-
Ion Rudolph kept a fine stock of dry goods. One of his
daughters, while quite young, married Colonel Austin F.
Peay of Fairfield, a widower much her senior, but they soon
Across Camden street Wm. Monteith, from Scotland, had
a tavern and tailor shop. His son, Galloway, father of W.
S. and Ainsley Monteith, served an apprenticeship with
Ainsley Hall, and late in life was employed and taken care of
by James Martin, cotton buyer.
Next to Monteith's was Samuel Pearse's tin shop, kept
a while with S. Pilsbury, which he afterwards moved higher up
on the same square. Dr. Edward Sill, a perfect model of
industry and attention to business, kept a drug store where
Dr. Heinitsh's is now. He once told me that he had not
lost a day from business in twenty years. After getting rich,
48 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
he bought the entire range from the court house lot to the
corner above, but the habit of drinking overcame him, and
his hard earnings nearly all slipped through his hands. Never
idle, however, he tried the auction and commission business
for awhile and was the publisher of the first daily paper in
Columbia, a small sheet at its birth, that somehow never grew
or prospered. After being burnt out by Sherman's army in
1865, he removed to Charlotte or Salisbury, N. C, where he
died. At the corner above stood the large store and dwell-
ing of Colonel John M. Creyon, an Irish gentleman of good
education and polished manners. The building was after-
wards converted into a hotel by John W. Clark, who erected
the pillar on which stood the famous bronze horse as a sign.
After Clark's time it became the property of James Boat-
wright and was kept by his daughter, Mrs. Sarah Fleming,
and her son, James T. Fleming. At the celebration of Wash-
ington's birthday in 18 — a party of young men were carous-
ing there till near daylight, and on leaving the house ran
over old Mr. Boatwright, who was an early riser, on the pave-
ment, dislocating the bones of his hip joint and making him
a cripple for life. He knew the parties, but refused to tell
their names, saying it was merely accidental and he wished
no ill feeling towards them from any of his family. The
hotel then fell into the hands of the Catholic Church, where
they had a nunnery and female seminary till Sherman's van-
dals burnt it. "^i
Across Blahding street was the shop of John Neuffer, a
German butcher, who, like almost everyone then in business,
made money. He started a tan yard on the Garner's Ferry
road, between Columbia and the race track. He professed
to be satisfied with one per cent, profit on his business, and
said that if he bought an article for one dollar and sold it for
two he had made one per cent, by the transaction. His
stand was afterwards occupied as a dry goods store by John
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 49
F. Marshall, a sort of irregular Baptist preacher, one of whose
sons, Edward W., became a leading Charleston merchant in
the same line, and another, Lawrence R., still lives here.
Immediately above, Sammy Lopez, a quizzical, cock-eyed
little Jew, a fine performer on the violin, kept a clothing store
some years later. His weak points were vanity and credulity,
which were played upon by some wags persuading him that
he could be elected Mayor in preference to Captain Lyons
and inducing him to spend a good deal of time in election-
eering. Again, one ist of April he was told that certain
ladies from the country at O'Neale's, in Cotton Town,
wanted some old-fashioned bonnets, with which he was over-
stocked, whereupon he donned hfs bell- crowned beaver and
claw-hammer-tailed coat, and, with a load of the bonnets
under each arm, betook himself to O'Neale's, "where, being
informed that the ladies had just gone to a neighboring store,
he pursued a fool's errand from place to place, till some one
cried out, ''April fool."
''Old Willy Barclay," as he was called, an honest, simple-
minded Scotch Presbyterian, kept a retail store in the build-
ing now occupied by Mr. Stenhous'e, who married his daughter
Janet. He once made an assignment, and, on selling out his
stock, was found to be perfectly solvent. The same thing,
with like result, was done by his kinsman, Robert Bryce,
since the war. He was a decided and rather noisy advocate
of temperance, and Dr. Crane, the phrenologist, who prob-
ably knew the fact, disgusted him greatly by declaring, on a
public examination of his head, that he was a very clever fel-
low, but too fond of the bottle. His son William was a por-
trait painter and died at an early age. Bowling & Co., an
Irish firm of cotton merchants, from Charleston, were next
50 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
COL UMB I A. —Continued.
West Side of Main Street — Ainsley Hall — Andrew Wallace —
Columbia Insurance Company — David Coulter — Nott & McCord —
Shipwreck — Wm. L. Lewis.
Where the postoffice now stands Ainsley Hall built a large
store and dwelling and carried on the most extensive business
in cotton and general merchandise in the town. He had
been brought from the old country by the Purvises, and after
serving them some years as a clerk struck out on his own
account. Being a clear-headed and fearless speculator, at the
close of the war, and afterwards, he became immensely rich.
Of medium stature, but elegantly formed, with the finest com-
plexion I have ever seen, and always neatly dressed, he was a
perfect pattern of a gentlemanly English merchant of the
olden time. His wife, Miss Hopkins, belonged to one of
the aristocratic families in Richland Fork, and the connec-
tion secured him the custom and patronage of that wealthy
region ; but they had no children. The residence adjoining
his store was expensively furnished and fitted up, and he im-
ported from England the most superb carriage that was then
in the State. I have understood that when the war of 1812
closed he had a conditional contract with General Wade
Hampton for the purchase of the latter' s two or three crops
of cotton — several hundred bales — at a stipulated price, pro-
vided he signified his confirmation of the bargain to Kirk-
patrick & Co., their mutual factors in Charleston, before it
was rescinded by Hampton's order. The news of peace was
received by both parties in Columbia about the same time,
and, as it was known that the price of the staple would im-
mediately advance three or four fold, each was anxious — the
one to confirm and the other to nullify the agreement. Hall
hastened to mount George Cotchett, an active little Scotch-
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 51
man in his employ, on a fleet horse to close the contract with
Kirkpatrick, while Hampton sent a trusty negro on one of
his best racers with a note to revoke it. Cotchett reached
Charleston first, and had just completed the arrangements
with Kirkpatrick when Hampton's servant entered the office
bearing orders to annul it. By this deal in futures, Hall was
said to have cleared several hundred thousand dollars, but
such amounts are generally exaggerated. He brought James
Macfie and John Mclver from Scotland at the same time as
clerks, and his brother, Wm. A. Hall, a one-eyed man, who
was father of George A. Hall, came over still later and be-
came a partner in the house.
Being a foreigner and devoted to his business, he took no
interest in military matters, and was fined for repeated fail-
ures to muster in the militia. According to law the fine was
some trifling sum, with the addition of fifty per cent, on
defaulter's State tax, which in his case amounted to about
fifteen hundred dollars. This he failed to pay, and, by order
of Captain D. L. Wakely, who worked in Edgar's tailor shop,
his wagon and team were levied upon in the street and driven
into Edgar's yard for safe-keepin'g. When the wagoner re-
ported to Hall what had taken place, he proceeded to Edgar's
with a walking cane in his hand, followed by the wagoner
with an axe. At the gate he found Edgar armed with a big
horse pistol guarding the way and forbidding entrance, but
by Hall's command the wagoner broke open the gate with
the axe, and he, with stick uplifted, charged upon Edgar,
who retreated, pistol in hand, crying out, "Stand back, Hal !"
Thus he recovered his property and the Courts were called
upon to decide the matter, with what result I have forgotten.
For him the Preston mansion was originally erected by Yates
& Philips, carpenters and contractors. It was subsequently
sold to General Hampton, who enlarged and improved it.
52 KAN DOM RECOLLECTIONS.
At Comerford's corner, Jacob Longinotti, a dirty, drunken
little Italian, sold fruit and candy. He once had his wrist
dislocated, and when asked by Aleck Brodie, ''What ails
your arm?" answered, '' Dees lo kat." I don't want to look
at it, ''said the other, but what's the matter with it?"
"Dees lo kat it," repeated Longy. "I don't want to look
at it; I'm no doctor," said Brodie impatiently, "but how
did you break it?" "Dees lo kat it," again replied Longy,
elevating the injured member as if for inspection. Brodie
could stand no more, and with an angry exclamation of "I
wish it was your neck that was broke instead of your arm,"
walked off, leaving the Italian gazing after him in mute amaze-
At Bryce's corner (Peter and Robert Bryce; late Hen-
drixes) Isaac Frazier, who afterwards moved to Huntt's be-
low the State House, had a tavern, and in rear of it was quite
a steep hill, overlooking the Park grounds, on which stood
the dwelling of Mr. Stanley, father of our respected fellow
citizen Wm. B. Stanley, President of the Central National
Bank. A few doors below, old Mr. Kennard, a great political
controversialist, did a small business in grain. A little lower
down was Jemmy Hall's low boarding and drinking house.
The next corner — now Diercks's — was occupied by old Mr.
McDowell, a man of large size and strong passions, who had
a wooden leg, and when, in his old age, he married a young
woman, some mischievous wag sent him a caricature entitled
"A chip of the old block," representing an infant on its back
in a cradle, sticking out a perfect miniature of the old man's
wooden leg. He threatened to drive his fist through the fel-
low that sent it if he could find him out.
At or next above McDowell's was old Dr. Smith, a very
stout, fat man, who had two sons, John and James, and a
daughter, Grace, who married Arba Sterns and removed to
one of the Western States.
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 53
Near the site of the Ice House lived Joseph Smith, a car-
penter, whose daughter was first married to Wm. Hitchcock
and afterwards to Robert Swaffield, whom she survives.
The first store at Dial's corner was that of Watts & Kins-
ler — Wm. B. W^atts, who quit Barrett's when I went in, and
Colonel Jeremiah Kinsler of the Camp Ground neighborhood.
Theirs was a grocery and cotton business, and at Kinsler's
death, Allen Gibson, of Fairfield, took his place in the firm,
which was then called Watts & Gibson. Watts, a sharp,
active business man, married a daughter of Manoel Antonio
and removed to the Fork, below Columbia, where, while
drunk, he killed a man and was tried for murder, but ac-
quitted. Gibson went to Florida. Just below the corner
was a store kept first by Jacob Ottolengui, an auctioneer, then
by Isaac Davega, of Charleston, for dry goods, and after-
wards for clothing and groceries by Solomon Davis, a Jew,
famous for the quantity of food he consumed. Next was
Manoel Antonio's brick store and dwelling. He was a
Spaniard, from Cuba, of good education, who had several
very pretty daughters. One of the walls of his house was
cracked by the earthquake in i8ji, as was also that of one of
the College buildings. The vacant lot next to Antonio was
afterwards filled by the hotel which John O'Hanlon built.
The baker shop of George Nutting and millinery store of his
wife, Mary — parents of Mrs. John I. Walter and Mrs. M. W.
Stratton — were towards the Southern end of the present
Colum.bia Hotel. The two stores next below were occupied
at a later period by Roland Keenan (old Rory Bean) and
Henry Moss, the former keeping a general stock and the
other clothing. Keenan had a prodigious nose and a thin,
whining voice, and he stopped every country wagon in the
street with the question, " What have you got to sell?" This
greatly annoyed and irritated Moss, who procured an enor-
mous pasteboard nose, and, fastening it over his own, would
54 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
sally into the street and mimick Keenan's whine, with the
same question, to the great amusement of their neighbors.
One day when Moss was in the height of his fun, it suddenly
came to an end by Keenan's assaulting him with a heavy
wagon whip so severely that he was laid up for two or three
we'eks. Dr. Samuel Jones had a private boarding house next
below. His wife was a sister of Major O'Hanlon, and her
descendants inherited the Major's property, he having died
leaving no wife or children. To carry out a strange crotchet,
Dr. Jones built an adobe house, with clay walls, in the North-
eastern section of the town, which stood till washed down by
the rain. Below Dr. Jones's was the saddlery and harness
shop of Needham Davis, who sold out and went to live on
Edisto River, in Orangeburg. At the corner (now Agnew's)
Wallace & Macfie kept a large dry goods, grocery and cotton
house. Both were perfect types of the canny, cautious,
clear-headed, painstaking, honest and thrifty Scot, who does
well wherever he may be placed. Mr. Wallace was unusually
systematic, intelligent, industrious and economical, accord-
ing to his son John, saving shoe leather by always seeking a
soft place to put down his foot. Leaving Scotland at an
early age, on the deliberate conclusion that it was no place
for one to rise in the world without capital or influential
friends, he landed in Charleston and came to Columbia with
Colonel Taylor's wagons. Having been well trained as a
merchant, he amassed a large fortune in a few years and mar-
ried a Miss Patrick, step daughter of John McLemore, a
wealthy planter in Richland Fork. In accordance with his
character for prudence and foresight, he determined to retire
from business on attaining what he regarded as a competency
and to run no risk of losing what he had earned. This was
before I came to Columbia. And he joined Macfie because
the latter needed capital and had the energy and capacity
that insured success. But finding him too speculative and
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 55
adventurous to suit his own extremely cautious temperament,
he dissolved the connection, and Macfie went on alone with
great success till his career was cut short by consumption.
His wife, whom he brought from Scotland, is still living, as
are also his son James Macfie, of Fairfield, and his daughter,
Mary Jane, the wife of my esteemed friend Colonel F. W.
Mr. Wallace was a regular member of the Methodist
Church, and he reared a numerous and highly respectable
family, whose members all received the best education the
times afforded, and married well, many still remaining here.
His time for many years was passed in watching over his large
investments in banks, railroads and other corporations. He . /
was the projector and President of the first Columbia Insur-
ance Company, but the business was too hazardous to suit his
taste, and he gave it up, whilst yet moderately prosperous,
and the result proved the correctness of his judgment, for
such extensive fires happened soon after as would have bank-
rupted the company. His habit for a long time was to spend
a portion of the Summer months in the mountains, and he
owned a commodious dwelling^ just South of Asheville, N.
C, which afforded a wide and beautiful view overlooking
the valley of the Swannanoa River. No concern was ever in
danger of failure if he partook in its management. His in-
surance company had in succession as Secretary Peter W.
Knapp, John Agnew and John Glass. The last named wed-
ded Mrs. Ancrum, widow of a rich old gentleman in Camden
and daughter of Jesse Arthur, a carpenter by trade, who lived
in both Granby and Columbia. Some of Mr. Glass's family
still reside among us, as do also Mr. Agnew and some of his.
From Barrett's store to the corner above the space was
occupied by the elegant residence and lot of David Coulter,
a Virginian by birth, whose four daughters, refined and ac-
complished ladies, were united in marriage, respectively, with
56 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
Edward Bates of Missouri, and David Means, William Har-
per and William C. Preston of Columbia. Within the en-
closure in front of his house stood a large and beautiful wild
orange tree, with branches overshadowing the sidewalk. He
sold the place to Barrett for ten thousand dollars, and went
to Missouri, whither Chancellor Harper also removed, but
returned in a few years.
Barrett divided the ground into several lots and sold them
for a large profit; John Russell, from the up country, buying
the house for $10,000 and converting it into a hotel. The
corner was bought by John W. Wilkins for $4,500, and on
it. he built a store and boarding house. This corner was
afterwards occupied for many years by Pollock &: Solomon,
(Levi Pollock and Phineas Solomon,) auctioneers and dealers
in groceries and provisions, with Lewis Levy, who married
one of Pollock's daughters, as a clerk and partner. Dr. Wil-
liam Branthwaite purchased the lot next below Russell's
hotel, where he erected a drug store and dwelling. Where
Dr. Miot's drug store now stands, Barrett put up a small
building that he first rented to Benjamin Rawls, the ingeni-
ous and industrious blacksmith, who used it as a silversmith
and repairer of clocks and watches. Mr. R. lived to be a
very old man and was the j^rogenitor of all the Rawlses in
and about Columbia. McCord & Nott (David J. McCord
and Henry Junius Nott) afterwards occupied this building as
a law office. They used to lend me books from the College
Library. McCord, a short, well set man, with sallow^ com-
plexion and very black hair, had for his first wife a Miss Wag-
ner of Charleston, and several years after her death took for
his second a daughter of Hon. Langdon Cheves, a lady who
distinguished herself by devotion to the Confederate cause
in contributing her time and money for the relief of our des-
titute and suffering soldiers. She lost a son in the war, who
was married to a daughter of Rev. Dr. J. L. Reynolds, Pro-
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS, 57
fessor in the College. He possessed great humor, consider-
able effrontery and undoubted courage; proving the latter
by always promptly resenting an insult, but never engaging
in a duel, even when challenged, as was too common with
gentlemen in those days. He took part in all the political
and other public discussions and controversies going on,
using both tongue and pen without much regard for the feel-
ings of his opponents. Once, when invited to the field of
honor by Dr. Elias Marks, he replied by going to the Doctor's
house, knocking at his door, and, when the latter appeared,
collaring and dragging him into the street, where they boxed
each other till tired out; and when the Doctor, in his for-
mal, precise manner, said: "Our physical energies are ex-
hausted;" McCord, rejoining: "D'n you, I have energy
enough left to whip you," renewed the combat. At another
time, during his argument before the Senate in the case in-
volving the ownership of McGowan's or Stark's Ferry, across
Broad River, old Bolin Stark pronounced one of his state-
ments false, when, though not more than half the old gentle-
man's size, he struck him in the mouth with a lawbook;
whereupon Stark knocked him, it was said, over seats and
desks clear across the room. And he caned William Cline,
the editor, with his own stick, for disrespectful remarks about
some transaction in which they disagreed. He was in Paris
when the revolution of July, 1830, occurred; and I have
heard him describe, very graphically, the action of the stu-
dents in the Polytechnic School, who tore up the pavements
and used the material to barricade the streets against the
attack of the government troops.
Henry J. Nott, a son of Judge Abraham Nott, practiced law
but a short time, when he took a trip to Europe and brought
back a pretty little French wife. Soon after his return the
Faculty of South Carolina College elected him to the chair
of Rhetoric, Belles Lettres and English Literature. On their
58 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
way to the North he and his wife were drowned by the wreck-
ing of a vessel between Charleston and Wilmington. It was
reported that he could have saved himself, but in trying to
help her both were lost. Of very humorous and playful
disposition, he wrote regularly for the Southern Review, and
published a book, full of fun, entitled " The Adventures of
Thomas Singularity and Other Tales."
In another shipwreck that occurred on the same route,
some years later, Judge Butler, Colonel Preston and William
L. Lewis, Senator from Alabama, who weighed more than
four hundred pounds avoirdupois, were on board, returning
from Washington at the close of a session of Congress. At
a late hour of the night, when the passengers were all asleep,
they were roused by the cry that the vessel had met with an
accident and was in the act of sinking. The boats were
hastily lowered, and, when Butler and Preston had entered
one, Lewis appeared in dishabille, but the sailors, declaring
that they could not take so much additional weight, were
about putting off without him, when Butler swore that he
should not be deserted, and, if the boat went down, they
would all perish together. They returned safely to Wilming-
ton, but, on arriving there, the question arose how Lewis
could be taken ashore more than half naked, for there was
no garment on board that would begin to cover his enormous
bulk. Even when clothed he was ''the observed of all ob-
servers," but in his condition at that time he would have
excited as much curiosity as now would Jumbo, whom he
.somewhat resembled. Fortunately, one of Colonel Preston's
old night gowns was found, in which he was wrapped and
smuggled into a carriage that conveyed him to a hotel, where
he lay by till a suit could be made for him.
At Washington no seat in the Senate was big enough for
him, and a settee or sofa had to be introduced for his special
use. WMiile the currency question was under discussion at
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 59
the National Capital, a caricature appeared entitled ''Expan-
sion and Contraction," showing Lewis seated beside the
attenuated form of F. P. Blair, public printer and editor of
the Globe, whom Governor Pickens characterized as a galvan-
ized corpse. I had seen him often when he was a young man
attending College in Columbia, and he was then very stout.
COL UMBIA.— Continued,
PRIVATE DWELLINGS AND THEIR OCCUPANTS.
The Beards, Taylors, Hamptons, Wades, DeSaussures, Notts,
Starks, Guignards, Herbemonts, Chappells, Fisuers, McGowans
AND Others — The Lunatic Asylum — First Theatrical Perform-
ance — Circus and Ball Room.
Off of Main street there were no stores that I remember.
On the South side of Camden street, Thomas Beard, the
ancestor of the large and respectable family that bear his
name, had a baker's shop. He attained a great age, and in
his last years became quite deaf and partially insane, but, be-
ing harmless, was allowed to go at large. Sam Wilson's
blacksmith shops were on the North side of Lady street, be-
tween Main and Sumter.
And now, having gone the rounds of Main street as it was
from 1817 to 1822, I will briefly notice the principal private
dwellings with their owners.
Colonel Thomas Taylor, the proprietor of the land on
which Columbia stands — which he was said to have bought
for an old horse and a rifle gun — lived near the Taylor bury-
ing ground and Taylor's spring, where public meetings were
sometimes held. His house stood there to a very recent
period. He had served faithfully as a soldier and an officer
in the Revolutionary War, but was too old to take an active
60. RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
part in public affairs during my time, yet I once heard him
make a short address, warning the people against the dangers
of nullification, when his venerable appearance and evident
sincerity commanded the respect of his audience, although
most of them disagreed with him on the subject. His de-
scendants, by their numbers, wealth and character, have
always occupied a prominent position in the public and
private life of the town and County. His son John, Con-
gressman and Governor, lived on Arsenal Hill in the house
now owned by Colonel A. C. Haskell, and his children
were connected by marriage with some of the leading families
in the State. Several of them went West, and of the old
stock that stayed here but two remain — Captain Alexander
R. Taylor, whose pure and useful life is recognized by all,
and Mrs. Rhett, the venerable mother of our worthy Mayor,
relict of Albert Rhett, the brilliant and somewhat aggressive
politician and lawyer. The Columbia Male Academy was
built about the year 1829 on a lot given for the purpose by
Governor John Taylor. The funds for establishing the
Female Academy were the proceeds of a lottery projected by
Judge Nott, with the assistance of Governor Taylor, and
some of the lottery tickets are still in existence. Some of
the family colonized Taylor Town, on the Eastern suburbs of
Columbia ; Major Tom Taylor, who removed to Alabama or
Mississippi, owning the original building of the present
Benedict Institute, and Colonel F. H. Elmore's residence
being across the street from it, while others extended further
East. Of the older members, I recollect Major Thomas,
Colonel Henry P., (whose daughter married David Yates,)
Jesse P., Benjamin F., (father of Colonel Thomas and Dr.
B. W.,) Dr. James H., General William Jesse and George,
but there Avere several besides these.
As already mentioned, General Wade Hampton, Sr., had
bought the original Preston mansion from Ainsley Hall. I
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 61
had no personal acquaintance with the old gentleman, but
knew generally that he had rendered distinguished service
and risen to high rank in the Revolution, and also that he
had become immensely rich by judicious investments in real
estate in this State and on the Mississippi River. He was
always on horseback when I saw him, and seemed to be a
thin, wiry, fiery horseman, who sat as easy and erect as any
youth of one-fourth his age. His son. Colonel Wade, was a
complete model and specimen of the old time, outspoken,
•open-handed Carolina gentleman. He was a young man on
his father's plantation up the Mississippi when the news
came that the British were invading Louisiana, and, leaving
his business, he went immediately to New Orleans and
tendered his services to General Jackson as a volunteer, who
made him one of his aides, and he acted gallantly and effi-
ciently in the defense that terminated in probably the greatest
victory on record — the loss of the Americans being only six
or seven, whilst that of the British exceeded twenty-five
hundred. He was said to have brought the first news of the
battle to Columbia, riding the whole distance on one horse.
When offered ten thousand dollars for one of his race horses,
he refused the offer, saying if any man in America could
afford to keep a horse at that price he could. His liberality
in endorsing for his friends cost him very dearly. General
John S. Preston married one of his sisters, and ex-Governor
John L. Manning another, a third being the wife of Thompson
T. Player, of Fairfield. The former sold his wife's share of the
Louisiana property, before the war, for one million dollars.
Of his son, our late Governor and present United States
Senator, nothing that I could say would begin to express the
admiration and love entertained for him by the people of
South Carolina and of the Southern States in general. His
first wife was a sister of General Preston, and his second a
daucfhter of Governor McDuffie. The females of the familv
have been proverbial for their kindness and charity to the
poor, many of whom depended upon them for support. Mrs.
Wade Hampton, Sr., when on the way to Augusta once,
discovered old *'D. W.," (David Winchell,) of Lexington,
lying drunk on the roadside, where he had fallen on some
rocks and bruised his face. Fearing he might be seriously
injured, she stopped, got out, and, taking some spirits from
her carriage, began to bathe his wounds. This roused him,
and he said to her. " My dear madam, you are putting it in
the wrong place," at the same time extending his hand for
the bottle, which she gave him, supposing that he best knew
where he was hurt, when to her surprise and disgust he ap-
plied it to his mouth and took the biggest sort of a drink.
Since writing this, I have been informed, by one who pro-
fesses to know, that it was Mrs. Fitzsimmons, the mother-in-
law of Colonel Wade Hampton, who was tricked by old
Captain George Wade, another of the patriarchs of Co-
lumbia, dwelt on Main street, opposite Steward's Hall.
Chancellor DeSaussure's residence, afterwards owned by his
son, Wm. F., some time United States Senator, was on or
near the corner now occupied by Chief Justice Simpson.
The Chancellor was the first Superintendent of the United
States Mint, to which place he had been appointed by Gene-
ral Washington. His grandson. Captain Wm. D. DeSaus-
sure, commanded the Richland Vohmteer Rifle Company in
the war with Mexico, and as Colonel of the Fifteenth Regiment
was killed in the Confederate war. No braver man ever faced
"the perilous edge of battle when it raged." Judge Abra-
ham Nott lived in a large house somewhat back from Main
street on the West side above Boundary, about opposite to
O'Neale's store. His eldest son, Josiah, a distinguished
physician, moved to Mobile,. Alabama.
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 63
Robert Stark, solicitor, whose dwelling, on Stark's Hill,
is still in his family, had a large body and powerful voice.
While quite a youth he had taken part in the battle of King's
Mountain, during the Revolution, and he had several sons and
daughters who were all respectably connected. His son
Major Theodore Stark, recently deceased, had filled the office
of Secretary of State and was afterwards Sheriff of Richland.
Anthony Hampton, son of General Wade, called his father
the world, Bob Stark the flesh, and Colonel Clifton, who was
club-footed, the devil.
MajoT" James S. Guignard (many years Ordinary and Clerk
of the Court) had a large dwelling on the Northwest corner of
Bull and Gervais streets, and owned the entire square, on
which he planted an orchard, nursery and vineyard. His
progeny, mostly daughters, intermarried with the Gibbeses,
Mayrants and other prominent families. Many of his de-
scendants still survive.
On the Southeast corner of Bull and Lady streets stood the
residence of Nicholas Herbemont, a Frenchman by birth,
who was teacher of his native language in the South Carolina
College, and married the wid6w Smythe. He had one son,
Alexander, by a former marriage, I believe. He owned the
whole square and planted it in flowers, fruit trees and grape
vines, besides having a vineyard in the country, from which
he made quite a quantity of very fair wine. From him prob-
ably originated the taste for flowers and flower gardens which
has added so much to the beauty and attractions of Colum-
bia. His son married a Miss Bay, and somewhat late in life
accepted the appointment of American Consul at some port
on the coast of Italy, whither he removed with his wife and
only son. After an extensive tour in Egypt and the East, he
and his son died abroad and his widow returned to Columbia
since the war, where she remained but a short time before re-
moving to, or near, Cheraw, where she died. Old Mr. Her-
Gi RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
bemont's place became the property of Captain Henry
Lyons, by whom it was continued and improved as Lyons's
garden, famous for its collection of choice fruits and flowers.
It is now the property of Mr. Van Benthuysen.
Colonel John J. Chappell lived on the corner now occu-
pied by Dr. Woodrow's Presbyterian office and dwelling.
After Colonel Chappell's removal to Mississippi, his place was
bought by Dr. John H. Boatwright, in whose hands it re-
mained till burnt by Sherman's army in 1865. His father
was a faithful Revolutionary soldier.
Mrs. Malone had a large yellow house on the hillside near
the present site of Wing's mill, and in the adjoining bottom
was the somewhat celebrated Malone's Spring.
The abode of Dr. Edward Fisher, Sr., was on Plain street,
the present residence of Captain Bachman, whose wife is the
daughter of Dr. Edward H. Fisher, deceased, a nephew of
the old Doctor. This, Stark's and Wallace's, are the only
buildings remaining in the families that owned them in 1817.
Dr. Fisher was a Vestryman of Trinity Church, but when
provoked would use profane language. The following anec-
dote, often told of him, was so characteristic that it might
have been true: It became the duty of himself and ^'old
Bob Stark," alternately, to read the service in the absence of
the clergyman. This duty he discharged without hesitation,
but Stark refused, and Dr. Fisher on going to the pulpit to^
take his place exclaimed : "D — naman that won't pray when
his turn comes !"
Robert Waring, another old settler, quit playing back-
gammon with Major Guignard because the Major laughed as
much when losing as when winning a game, and thus de-
prived the victor of one-half of his satisfaction.
At the Northwest corner of Bull and Washington streets
was the home of Spencer J. Mann, an old bachelor and
officer in the Branch Bank, who went crazy for love of Miss
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 65
Levy, sister of Chapman Levy. L C. Morgan and Alexan-
der Falls by turns owned the building, and when burnt by
Sherman's troops in 1865 it belonged to Mr. Falls's widow,
who had not long before married D. Plympton Kelly.
Dr. James Davis's residence was on the Northwest corner
of Plain and Sumter streets. Of his sons, Captain Henry C.
Davis, father of R. Means Davis, at present Professor of
History in South Carolina College, resides at Ridgeway, in
Fairfield. One of Dr. Davis's daughters married Edward G.
Palmer, deceased, long the President of the Charlotte and
South Carolina Railroad, and another was the second wife of
Wm. C. Preston. Once it was said old Dr. Cooper rode his
little white pony to Dr. Davis's, where he was very intimate,
soon after its tail had been closely shaved by some of the
students, and, being asked what ailed the pony's tail, replied
''that is the fashion," which being heard by Dr. Davis's
coachman, he resolved to follow the fashion, and forthwith
shaved the tails of his master's carriage horses. Dr. Davis's
house afterwards became the residence of Levi Sherman, and
still later of Dr. Samuel Fair.
Across Plain street from Dr." Davis's was the dwelling of
Dr. Thomas Wells, of Connecticut, who made a fortune by
the practice of his profession, and lived here till about 1855,
when, after spending two or three years in Europe, he re-
turned to New Haven, his native place, but still owned con-
siderable real estate in Columbia till the close of the war, in
1865, the burning of his houses by Sherman causing him a
very heavy loss. He and Dr. Davis, from differences in poli-
tics and other causes, were lifelong, bitter enemies. Dr. M.
H. DeLeon lived North side of Plain street, between Bull
Mr. Andrew Wallace's dwelling was on the Northwest cor-
ner of Boundary and Pickens streets, opposite the Lunatic
Asylum, which Jabez Warner and Wm. Gray were building
in 1821, and I stood upon the walls while they were going up.
66 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
Mrs. Elizabeth McGowan (mother of Henry McGowan,
who still lives here, and of Mitchell McGowan, long since
dead,) kept a boarding house in the building on Northeast
corner of Gervais and Assembly streets, now occupied as the
Washington House by Mrs. M. W. Stratton, a daughter of
George Nutting and author of many very pretty pieces of
i3oetry, whose deceased husband, S. E. Stratton, was a part-
ner of Levi Sherman in the saddlery business and a close
relation of the famous General Tom Thumb.
Mrs. Herring lived on the Northeast corner of Taylor and
Assembly streets, where Henry McGowan now resides. She
had one son and two beautiful daughters, the elder of whom,
Eliza, married Dr. Green.
Rev. Robert Means's dwelling was North side of Plain
street, just back of Agnew's present store, and a short dis-
tance West of it was that of the Hennesses, painters by
trade, who had a dashing young sister,
John Suder, a French dancing master, built a large two-
story house for a ball room and public hall on Sumter street,
nearly opposite to Trinity Church, where I first witnessed a
theatrical performance called '' The Midnight Hour." The
first exhibition of a circus was on the North side of Camden
street, near the present site of McKnight's stables. One of
the best riders— a little red-headed fellow named Yeaman,
who shortly afterwards broke his neck while performing at
Augusta — left a widow that subsequently married old John
Robinson and frequently showed off in the ring on her
famous mare Beeswing. Charles Young's theatrical company
came here every winter for some years and performed nightly
about two months, producing the principal stock pieces then
on the stage, in which he and his wife (a very beautiful and
accomplished woman) frequently appeared. An Irish come-
dian of Young's company, named Quinn, quit the stage and
studied law in Columbia, where he was admitted to practice
and remained a few years.
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 67
Peter Clissey, a painter by trade, also kept a dancing
school, and old Scipio, a slew-footed, French West India bar-
ber and fiddler, made music at all the balls, usually inquiring
at the close, "Now you sassify?"
John Bynum, a very tall, thin, cynical old man, lived in a
small white cottage next North of the Presbyterian Church.
He had a good library and often lent me books. The
Douglases were among the old settlers, but I have forgotten
the location of their homestead.
CO L UMBIA.— Contmiied.
Remarkable Negroes— Lawyers— Colonel James and General Maxcy
Gregg— Colonel Blanding— Columbia Canal— State Road— Sa-
luda Factory — Railroad Bank — Water Works— Chapman Levy —
Trial of Wm. Taylor — Duel — Academies, Schools and Watering
Two or three other remarkable negroes may as well be no-
Ben. Delane, whilst a slave, hii:ed his time and owned boats,
which he ran on the river, commanding one himself and em-
ploying hands to work it and another — the two always going
together. His character for industry and integrity was
beyond reproach and he could get credit for all he asked.
Alfred Parr, an African by birth, who came to this country
at an early age and died here last year, had more than ordi-
nary intelligence, especially as to public matters, and pre-
served many records of long past events. He and I became
acquainted when both were boys, and only a few years ago
he loaned me a copy of Dr. Maxcy's sermon on the death of
John Sampson Bobo of Spartanburg, who, while in College,
was drowned in the Congaree in 1819, and whose lifeless
body I recollect seeing as it lay on the river bank near
Young's mill, soon after its recovery from the water.
Old Sancho Cooper, also an African, belonged for many
years to Dr. Thomas Cooper, President of the College, who
was 'generally regarded as an infidel, though he professed to
be a Unitarian, whose remains, I heard, were refused burial
in the Presbyterian churchyard. Sancho was a highly re-
spected member of the Methodist Church and long officiated
as a preacher to the colored people. His son, Sancho, who
is still living and who waited on me through a protracted
spell of sickness in 1876, '77 and '78, came from Africa
when quite a child, and he tells some interesting anecdotes of
Dr. Cooper's indulgence to himself and to his own children,
often in spite of the wishes and remonstrances of Mrs. Cooper.
He says that the Doctor for two or three months before his
death had old Sancho to pray with and for him regularly
every night and morning.
Among the other respectable colored people that accumu-
lated property were Mary Purvis, mother of Christopher
Haynesworth, Jim Patterson and his wife Sally, Sarah
Haynes, Green Guignard, Nero Waring, Richard Holmes,
and Joe Randall, trumpeter to the cavalry.
The leading lawyers were James Gregg, Abram Bland-
ing, John J. Chappell, Robert Stark, — who was suc-
ceeded as Solicitor by Major John S. Jeter of Edgefield, —
Chapman Levy and Claiborne Clifton. Their ranks were
increased in a (ew years by David J. McCord, Wm. C. Pres-
ton, Wm. Harper, James H. Hammond, Franklin H. Elmore,
Wm. F. DeSaussure and others of less note.
Colonel Gregg, slow, plodding, clear-headed and indefati-
gable, disdaining all ornament, confined himself strictly to
the law and logic of his cases, and never went to trial with-
out thorough preparation, generally examining his witnesses
beforehand, so as to know exactly what questions to ask and
what to avoid asking, the latter often being as important as
the former. By dint of strict method, unceasing industry
and close application, he acquired such knowledge of his pro-
fession as enabled him sometimes to dictate to the Judges of
the Appeal Court a reversal of the decrees they had made on
the Circuit and was obeyed. He served at least one term in
the Senate, and took part in the political discussions of the
day; but nothing was allowed to interfere with his devotion
to the law, in which his opinions, never hastily given, were
received with all the authority of an oracle. He was truly
"a man without guile," if God ever made one. His wife
was a daughter of Dr. Maxcy, President of the College, and
his son, Maxcy, lost his life in December, 1862, at the battle
of Fredericksburg, where he had attained the rank of Briga-
dier General, one of his last utterances being to the effect that
he died contented in defending the principles of the State of
South Carolina. His remains were received in Columbia
(where he was born) with great parade, during the session of
the Legislature, and they lie buried in a beautiful spot in
Elmwood Cemetery. His memory will ever be cherished by
the people of his native city and State as one above the sus-
picion of any mean or dishonorable act. I saw him for the
last time in November, 1862, at'Berryville, a few miles East
of Winchester, Va. , where he was attended by his staff
officers, those gallant and noble gentlemen. Colonels A. C.
and J. C. Haskell, Dr. J. W. Powell, and by his faithful ser-
vant, Wm. Rose, — better known as Bill Barrett, — who in
1820 had belonged to my old master, Jacob Barrett.
Colonel Bland ing, a Northern man by birth, married a
daughter of Chancellor DeSaussure, and removed to this
place from Camden. Though never mingling in politics, he
was one of the most useful, enterprising and public-spirited
citizens that ever lived in the State. As Superintendent of
Public Works, he projected the opening of the Columbia
Canal and similar improvements on the Broad and Catawba
Rivers, as well as the State Road from Columbia to Charles-
ton, which was of great service in facilitating intercourse
between those places. He was the first President of the
Commercial Bank of Columbia, and of the South-Western
Railroad Bank in Charleston, the latter being intended to aid
the so-called Charleston and Cincinnati Railroad, in which
scheme he took an active and conspicuous part, but in his
time the road never extended beyond Columbia. He also,
with David Ewart, originated the Saluda Factory, the largest
cotton manufacturing establishment then in the State. Of
his own accord, and at his own expense, he established our
water works, obtaining from the Legislature the passage of
an Act authorizing the City Council to contract with him for
their erection; an'd importing from England the engine, ma-
chinery and pipes for conveying water through our streets
and supplying it to private houses and to the State institu-
tions in the town, at a time when such a project was almost
or quite unknown in the South. Under this contract the
city conveyed to him that portion of Washington and Lady
streets lying East of Pickens, with the square between them,
extending to and including Henderson street from Washing-
ton to Lady, and the length of one acre beyond, which thus
became private property. Before his removal to Charleston,
in 1838, he sold the water works to the city authorities at,
I think, less than they had cost him, (some $15,000,) on the
condition that the principal should run for an indefinite
period, provided the interest was paid quarterly or semi-
Whilst here his home was on the street now called by his
name, at its Northwestern intersection with Marion street,
and he is said to have commenced the planting of oaks in
our streets, which have contributed so much to the beauty
and comfort of the city. Previously the streets were shaded
by the China tree or Pride of Lidia. He bore the reputa-
tion of a profound lawyer, especially as to real estate, and
practiced his profession in copartnership with his brother-in-
law, the late Hon. William F. DeSaiissure. When I knew
him he was past middle age, stout and well proportioned,
slightly stooped in the shoulders, with a serious countenance
and projecting under lip, looking always as if deeply absorbed
in thought. His principal aim in life seemed to be the im-
provement of his adopted State and her people, and to this
end he freely gave his money and his time. What a contrast
between such a life and that of the scheming and selfish poli-
tician, whose ambition never rises above the level of his own
promotion ! Of his family, I was acquainted with but two.
Captain William Blanding, who practiced law in Charleston,
commanded a company in the Mexican war, and subsequently
removed to California, where, I believe, he died; and Col-
onel James D. Blanding, an honored and honorable member
of the bar at Sumter, who also served as a Captain in Mexico,
and still survives. Colonel Blanding at one time owned the
brick yard on the Canal, which he either bought from or sold
to Chapfman Levy.
Chapman Levy, who came here from Camden, was a lawyer
of considerable ability and very popular manners. He pur-
chased and dwelt in the old house formerly owned by Cap-
tain George Wade, opposite to Steward's Hall, below the
State House. In 1820 or 1821, "Stuttering Billy Taylor,"
as he was called, a brother of Governor Taylor, at his own
house in Lexington, shot and killed Dr. Cheesborough, a
young physician of the neighborhood, for alleged improper
intimacy with his (Taylor's) wife. This unfortunate and
tragical affair produced great excitement in the community,
which was increased by the high standing of the parties.
On the trial of Taylor for murder, in which he was acquitted,
Levy was employed to assist in the prosecution, and in the
course of his argument made use of some expressions that
gave offense to Dr. James H. Taylor, a son of Governor
Taylor, who, meeting him in Cokimbiasome time after, struck
him with a stick or switch. This was followed by a duel
between the parties, in which Levy received a flesh wound
below the knee. Some months later, John McLean and
Levy went fishing, and when the latter rolled up his trousers
to wade in the water, McLean observed that Dr. Taylor
must be a capital shot to hit so small a mark. When Tom
Marshall, of Kentucky, shot James Watson Webb below the
knee in a duel, he pronounced it the d'ndest lowest thing he
ever did in his life.
Dr. Marks' s and another female academy kept by some
Northern men, whose names I forget, were on the Eastern
side of the town, and old Mr. James Wood had a male
academy on the West of Sumter street between Bland ing and
Laurel, where George Bedell's livery stable was afterwards.
Rice Creek Springs, about half way between Columbia and
Camden, was a favorite watering place for many of our lead-
ing citizens in the Summer months. And some years later
Lightwood Knot Spring, some six miles above Columbia on
the Charlotte Railroad, was very frequently visited for health
COL UMB I A. —Continued.
"THERE WERE GIANTS ON THE EARTH IN THOSE DAYS."
William Capers, James O. Andrew, Samuel Dunvvodt, Jonathan
Maxcy and Basil Manly.
Among the clergy during my first sojourn in Columbia,
(1817 to 1822) were William Capers, James O. Andrew and
Samuel Dunwody, of the Methodist Church — the first two
named afterwards becoming Bishops — and Jonathan Maxcy
and Basil Manly, Baptists, all very remarkable men for intel-
lectual powers, improved and heightened by practice and
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 73
Bishop Capers entered South Carolina College in 1805,
but left it before graduating and commenced the study of
law, which he soon abandoned for the itinerant ministry of
the Methodist Church. He was particularly distinguished for
saint-like purity, humility and benignity of countenance and
character; with the most melodious voice I ever heard, not
excepting that of Wm. C. Preston or Whitefoord Smith.
An excellent singer, he usually preceded his sermons by
singing (solo) a verse or two from some hymn. In his ser-
mon at the dedication of the Lutheran Church in Lexington,
the power and pathos with which he described the utter
humiliation of PeteV, when, falling at the Saviour's feet, he
exclaimed, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, oh
Lord!" were heightened and enforced by features and ges-
tures so natural, appropriate and expressive of remorse, sub-
mission and adoration as made a picture surpassing any I
have ever seen on or off the stage. I recollect another of his
discourses, addressed to the ministry, enjoining upon them
great forbearance and consideration for the feelings and cir-
cumstances of offenders, in enforcing the discipline of the
Church. Although fitted to enjoy and adorn the most re-
fined circles of society, he voluntarily devoted many years of
his life to the instruction and elevation of the very lowest
grades of humanity — the wild Indians of the West, and the
still more ignorant and degraded negroes on the large plan-
tations in the low country.
Bishop Andrew's manner, mind and appearance were alto-
gether different. With a short, stout body, a stern, for-
bidding face, and voice like a trumpet, he was the very em-
bodiment oi power in the pulpit. While the one was all
meekness and gentleness, the other was all energy and force.
The one might be compared to the soft, refreshing evening
breeze, and the other to the raging tempest or tornado.
Preaching at a camp meeting a short distance above Lexing-
74 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
ton village, from the text, ''Woe unto that man by whom
the offense cometh," the tones in which he thundered forth
his denunciation of the offender resounded through the
woods and over the hills, reminding one of the destroying
angel in the Apocalypse, "flying through the midst of
heaven, saying with a loud voice, woe, woe, woe to the in-
habiters of earth."
Mr. Diinwody was quite an original and eccentric charac-
ter. Rather stout, below medium height, and somewhat
stoop-shouldered, he had a face solemn as a tombstone, that
was seldom or never seen to smile, and a voice as harsh as
the rattling of a railroad train, and, under shaggy, reddish-
gray eyebrows, a pair of deep-set, piggish-looking eyes that
peered up cunningly at those with whom he conversed. Then,
too, he was somewhat deaf and quite absent-minded. Once,
when a carriage brought him from a camp meeting in the
country to Columbia, he was found on arriving perched up
on the seat behind. Whilst on the Lexington Circuit, some
years later, he always spent the night of his appointment to
preach in the village at my house, and, invariably dismount-
ing in the suburbs, led his horse through the middle of the
street, looking neither to the right hand nor the left. He never
troubled any one for what he could get himself, and had
learned what an old British Admiral said was better than a
university education, namely, to shave in cold water. He
tried harder and came nearer to giving out a whole hymn in
one breath than any one I ever heard. On one occasion
when praying with my family, which included a number of
school boy boarders, he became so loud as to set the dogs to
barking in the yard and run the boys out of the room lest
they should disturb him by laughing aloud ; but he neither
heard nor heeded the one or the other. And notwithstand-
ing his many oddities, his deep, unaffected piety, extraordi-
nary memory as to the Scriptures and acute powers as a logi-
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 75
cian commanded the attention and respect of all who knew
or heard him. In the closing services of a camp meeting
near Piatt Springs, in Lexington, he put quite a damper upon
the efforts of some speakers who had preceded him and
urged the congregation to come forward and join the church,
by remarking that when the Devil failed to check the conver-
sion of sinners, he sometimes thwarted it by thrusting among
them some who were unworthy or insincere and whose early
declension brought dishonor upon the cause.
Dr. Maxcy was one of the greatest orators I ever heard,
and I have listened to nearly all the most distinguished
among us in the last sixty years. He was a native of Rhode
Island, where his reputation for talents and piety was so emi-
nent that he became President of Brown University at the
age of twenty-four, and a few years later was promoted to
the Presidency of Union College, Schenectady, New York,
whence became to Columbia in 1804. Of short, spare stat-
ure, he seemed so weak as to mount the steps of the pulpit
with difiiculty. With dark eyes and complexion, he had very
black hair, cut short in front and combed or brushed straight
down around, his forehead. His voice was sweet and feeble,
but he spoke so distinctly and deliberately that every sylla-
ble reached the farthest corner of the chapel when I heard
him. His language was very precise and select, and his sen-
tences generally short, each one being complete in itself. By
public request he delivered an address in the Chapel on Sun-
day, the 4th of July, 1819. This, taken altogether, was a
masterpiece, and in some portions of it he rose to a pitch
that seemed inspired. When describing the meeting of the
first American Congress, after dwelling at some length on the
importance of the occasion and the tremendous consequences
that might follow from their action, he suddenly departed
from his usually smooth' and quiet manner, with a burst of
enthusiasm that surprised and electrified the audience, as he
76 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
spoke of ''the Virginia Demosthenes, the mighty Henry!
who gives the full rein to all his gigantic powers, and pours
his own heroic spirit into the minds of his auditors; they
become as one man, actuated by one soul, and the universal
shout is ' Liberty or death !' " And towards the close of the
address, in alluding to the future power and extent of our
country, he seems to prophetically anticipate our acquisition
of territory on the Pacific slope, in the following beautiful
and striking word picture: ''In these solitary regions, where
the human foot never trod, where the human eye never pene-
trated, the American eagle claps his wings, and, soaring West-
ward, eyes the distant Pacific; while in his beak he bears the
peaceful olive, and in his talons the gleaming thunderbolt."
His son Ezek, at one time Captain of the Richland Volun-
teer Rifle Company, married a Miss Dinkins and moved to
the West. After the war his widow returned here, some-
what demented, and, I believe, ended her days in the Luna-
tic Asylum. Another son — Hart Maxcy, — a well known
citizen of Columbia, has descendants now living in the
Mr. Manly was much younger than the others. His man-
ner was pleasing and persuasive, and his presence and de-
meanor so winning and magnetic as to give him great influ-
ence over those whom he met or addressed.
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 77
COL UMBIA.— Continued.
District and Other Officers— Sheriff, Clerk and Ordinary, Tax
Collector, Crier of Court, Intendant, Chief of Police and
Congressman— Flush Times— Prices of Produce— Tobacco In-
spection—Credit System— Boats— Goods and Their Prices.
In i8i 7 Simon Taylor was Sheriff of Richland ; James S.
Guignard, Clerk and Ordinary ; Thomas Hutchinson, Tax
Collector ; and old Mr. Barrillon, the French auctioneer,
Crier of the Court, who always added to the prescribed for-
mula of "God save the State," at the opening of the term',
the words ''and the crier too."
James T. Goodwyn was Intendant of Columbia, and Mi-
chael J. Shaffer, Chief Marshal. Colonel John J. Chappell
represented the District in Congress. William Hilliard suc-
ceeded to the office of Sheriff, and Rev. Benjamin Tradewell,
of the Methodist Church, to that of Tax Collector, while
Joshua Sowden became Chief Marshal after Captain Shaffer's
removal to Mississippi. Mr. Hilliard made a defalcation in the
Sheriff's office, which "cost old Mr. Boatwright, one of his
official sureties, upwards of twenty thousand dollars.
At that time, and for some years following, all prudent
merchants and planters were prospering. The prices of pro-
duce averaged about as follows: Cotton, i6 to 19 cents, (in
1825 it went up to 27); corn, 50 cents, which many old
farmers contended was its natural, proper rate, that ought
never to be increased or diminished ; bacon and lard, 10 to
12; butter, 12}^ to 15; and eggs, 10 to 12^.
Tobacco was raised extensively in the up country, and I
have seen many a hogshead of it in the leaf rolling through
Main street, by means of a frame at each end, with a pivot,
on which it turned, attached to a pair of shafts, in which a
horse worked. A State inspection for the article was estab-
78 KANDOM KECOLLECTIONS.
lished at Granby, and another at Charleston, where it had to
be examined before being offered for sale, and if it failed to
come up to the legal standard the inspectors were required to
confiscate it by burning. All country produce was brought
by wagons, and the farmers from a distance, when selling
their crops, bought their annual supplies of such necessaries
as they failed to produce at home. There being but few-
country stores, and those in the villages generally scantily
supplied, Columbia did a very large retail business through-
out the winter months. The merchants, having none of the
present facilities for readily replenishing their stocks, kept a
large amount of goods on hand. These they bought, mostly
in Charleston, on a credit of six to nine months. To cus-
tomers of good standing they sold on a year's credit, allow-
ing accounts to run till New Year, when, if not paid sooner,
they were expected to be settled by cash or note bearing in-
terest at 7 per cent. All the large dealers had their own
boats, each manned by half a dozen stout hands, besides the
captain or patroon. Light goods were hauled from Charles-
ton by wagons, and sometimes, of a dry season, in the fall,
when the river became too low for navigation, wagons were
the sole reliance for transportation, and freights were enor-
mously high, as much as four dollars on a sack of salt or a
bale of cotton weighing a little over three hundred pounds.
Salt sold at one dollar to one and a half per bushel, and for
many years was handled in bulk, an apartment in the hold
of the boats and the back stores of the merchants being swept
clean, in which it was poured loose and measured out to cus-
tomers by the half bushel. Jamaica rum and Cognac brandy
brought three to four dollars per gallon — the former being
generally preferred as the more wholesome. Corn whisky
and New England rum (vile stuff made of West India molas-
ses) retailed at one dollar per gallon. Very little fine wine
was sold ; sweet Malaga wine and mint cordial, retailing at
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 79
one dollar per gallon, were very popular with women from
the country, whom we always treated when they came in.
Holland gin, with Stoughton's bitters, before breakfast, and
shrub, composed of acid, sugar and spirits, made up the usual
drinks of the people, who used stimulants freely, both in their
homes and when friends met abroad. Up to 1820 no temper-
ance societies existed. Merchants invariably watered their
liquors before offering them for sale, the common ratio being
a tub full to a hogshead, or in that proportion, and I have
helped to carry many a one for that purpose. Nearly all our
sugar came from Havana, put up in oblong square boxes of
about two hundred and fifty pounds. It was both white and
yellow, very fine grained and exceedingly dirty. Refined
loaf sugar, in long conical packages, covered with thick, dark
blue paper, was so hard and solid that it would strike fire,
both in and out of water. West India molasses — the only
kind then known — was both black and sour. Tobacco, for
chewing, was twisted in one pound parcels, and for smoking
the entire plant was sold, with the leaves cleaned, pressed
and sweetened. Thousands of chalk pipes were sold, the
stem and bowl moulded in one piece. Cigars were rarely
used ; they came from Havana and sold for high prices.
Woolen and worsted goods were imported mostly from
England — broadcloths selling at $6 to $10 per yard; the
favorite color for dress coats was deep blue, with bright brass
buttons. Frock coats were not admissible on state occa-
sions. Pantaloons for winter were of all shades of cassimere ;
and for summer, nankeen, both yellow and blue, was com-
monly worn, the former having the preference. It measured
five to seven yards in length and about half a yard wide.
Corduroy, a cheap, dark drab ribbed stuff, was much used
for coats and pantaloons. Vests of white or buff Marseilles
and figured silk were very common. The latter have strangely
gone out of fashion, since they were cheap, tasty and
80 KANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
durable. Flannel, both red and white, still continues in use,
though less common now than it was then. Scotch plaids, a
heavy worsted goods, of various patterns, was very fashion-
able for men's cloaks, generally made with a cape coming
below the elbows. For negroes, white plains, a coarse, thick,
all wool fabric, was very extensively used. Travelers generally
wore leggings of this stuff, to protect their pantaloons from
mud and dust; they were wrapped around the legs, reaching
from the ankles above the knees and fastened above and below
with bands made of list. Blue plains, also a cheap woolen
goods, were less popular than the white. Blankets were of
three classes — duffle, point and rose — the first named plain
white, coarse and cheap; the second like them, but twilled,
with one, two or three short black bars in one corner to desig-
nate the sizes — the smallest, called one point and having one
bar, were used as saddle blankets ; the rose blankets had a
rosette of bright colored worsted in each corner, nearly a foot
in diameter, were of finer quality and brought higher prices
than the others. Black worsted Kilmarnock caps from
Scotland, with dark colored borders, were very much used by
negroes and other laboring men. Brown linen from Ireland and
Germany became very common a few years later, but just then
no dry goods store failed to keep osnaburgs, a cheap brown
flax or hemp cloth, widely employed for clothing by the
lower classes and for bags and various other purposes. Thick,
padded white cravats and black Barcelona silk handkerchiefs
were worn around gentlemen's necks and bandanas for the
pocket. Ladies' dresses of fine quality were of black silk,
as they are now, and also of changeable silks, showing
white with blue, yellow or pink; and of white or black
Canton crape, which came in patterns, having a flowered
border a foot or so in width at the bottom. And to my eye
the black Canton crape, which clung close to the body, on a
tall, well-shaped woman, was the most becoming garment
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 81
ever worn. White dresses were composed of muslin or cam-
bric. Bombazine and bombazette were extensively used for
ladies' and gentlemen's wear. It was a thin worsted goods, the
former mixed with silk, the favorite colors being black, green
and brown. Calico then, as now, made most of the women's
frocks or gowns. It sold for twenty-five cents per yard, was
about three-fourths wide, and became quite thin after the starch
had been removed by washing. And what seems strange,
five and a half yards was the usual pattern for a dress, in
which women then looked as well and were as much admired
as now in twice the quantity. Checked aprons and glass beads
of various sizes and all colors were in common use. Old
ladies sometimes wore outside calico pockets, suspended from
a band around the waist, and indoors had silver or gilt chains,
with scissors and pincushions attached, hung round the
neck. Fine shirts and sheets were made of Irish linen. For
common shirtings, linings, &c., we had nothing but hum-
hums, a thin, yard wide, thickly glazed cotton goods from
the East Indies, which became quite sleazy when washed
from the starch, but wore well. About the year 1820 North-
ern made brown shirtings were introduced and had a great
run, the price, $1 for three yards, being so cheap that every-
body from the country bought a pattern or two; and they
still hold their place in the market, though very much im-
proved in quality and reduced in price. Great numbers of
Madras handkerchiefs, from the East Indies, were worn by
the negro women as shawls and on their heads. They were
finely woven in bright colors and of good size.
83 KANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
COL U MB I A. — Continued.
Jacob AND Judah Barrett — John G. Dunlap — Henry Hook — Murder
OF John Arthur — Henry Voss and John H. Eiffert.
At Barrett's we kept dry goods, groceries, provisions,
liquors, (both at wholesale and retail,) hardware, crockery,
shoes, hats and saddles. Besides all this, he sometimes
bought a drove of hogs and made bacon for sale. He also
speculated in negroes, horses and real estate. Though hardly
able to sign his name, and never looking into a book, he had
unerring judgment as to the value of all sorts of property
and a keen perception of the character and standing of his
customers. One so shrewd, stingy and unscrupulous, situ-
ated as he was, could hardly fail, in such flush times, to be-
come immensely wealthy, especially as he was aided by his
brother Isaac in Charleston, who also was a keen business
man, and, as his partner, bought goods and sold produce for
him. Nothing that promised gain came amiss to him. At
one time Isaac sent him a hundred Jersey wagons, costing,
with the harness, $25 each. These he sold in a few months
at ^75. Again, a cargo of government soldiers' condemned
coats or jackets, bought at a great sacrifice, were readily
taken by the planters for their negroes at an advance of one
or two hundred per cent, over cost. A gang of some twenty
negroes from Charleston he soon disposed of at very large
profits, keeping for his own use Armstead Booker, a good-
looking, active carriage driver and barber, who attended to
his horses and in the store, and Aunt Nancy, a first-rate cook,
with her children, one of whom, Wm. Rose, (or Bill Barrett,)
is now employed in the Governor's office at the State House.
Armstead, the barber, would now and then get drunk, and
once, when recovering from a debauch, offered Dunlap and
myself leave to shave off his whiskers (which he was very
proud of) if we ever caught him in that condition again.
Soon after we found him one night so drunk as to be unable
to speak or move. Accordingly, taking a pair of shears, we
cut off one of his whiskers clean and smooth. Next morn-
ing when he came into our bedroom, and, as was his custom,
went to look at himself in the glass, he was horrified at dis-
covering what had taken place and broke into a furious pas-
sion. But we claimed to have carried out his own proposi-
tion, and he had to shave off the other whisker till both
should grow out again. One Sunday, in the spring, Dunlap
and I stole off to fish at Granby shoals. Barrett professed to
be greatly enraged at this freak of ours, till the fine string of
goggle-eye that we had caught were shown to him, and then
he became perfectly quiet and reconciled. But we never
Some years after I left Barrett, he took Dunlap into copart-
nership, and the old store was burnt down. He then went to
Charleston, married a daughter of his cousin, Jacob Ottolen-
gui, speculated largely in real estate, and, by his own account,
(which should be taken at some discount,) became a million-
aire, owning before the war a thousand negroes on his rice
plantations near the Savannah River and very large bodies of
land in Florida, besides numerous houses and lots in Charles-
ton. I met him in the Charleston Hotel after the war and
listened to a long account of his family troubles and his losses
from secession. He died soon after, leaving a very valuable
estate, curiously tied up by his will, and making Mr. George
W. Williams his executor.
Judah Barrett, his elder brother, spoke French and Ger-
man, and, though not as successful in business as Jacob, was
much his superior in knowledge of the world and its affairs.
He conversed well and readily on general subjects, but was of
very loose morals, being both a gambler and debauchee. In
84 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
early life, before I knew him, he had joined the Methodist
Church in Columbia and married a rich widow, the mother,
I believe, of Captain Christian Bookter and John D. Frost,
well known citizens of upper Richland. By this wife he had
at least one son ; but he soon separated from her, was turned
out of the church and went to Camden, where he was mer-
chandising in 1817 and caused me to be sent to his brother in
Columbia. I saw his wife frequently, and she seemed to
mind the separation no more than he did. He was unsuc-
cessful in Camden, and then came here, where he stayed with
us, occasionally assisting in the store and acting as an auc-
tioneer, for which he was well fitted by his loud voice, ready
wit and quick perception. After I had gone to Lexington he
became so fascinated by the beauty of a young girl, whose
father (Henry Hook) lived on the Augusta road, four miles
from Columbia, and whom he could not marry because his
wife was alive, that he attempted to kill himself by taking
laudanum, but was relieved from its effects by a timely use of
the stomach pump. Eventually he succeeded in seducing
her, with, report said, the tacit consent of her father, whose
ignorance was dazzled by Barrett's apparent wealth. She
gave birth to a son and he soon dissolved the connection.
It led, however, to tragical consequences for her family. The
old man, her father, got into a drunken quarrel with John
Arthur, the first husband of Mrs. M. A. Holmes, at a public
gathering. Arthur taunted him with the dishonor of his
daughter, and in the fight that ensued was killed by Hook,
who stabbed him with a long knife. He belonged to a
wealthy and influential family, some of whose members did
all in their power to have Hook hung for the murder, and,
though he escaped the gallows, his conviction for manslaugh-
ter resulted in his suffering a long imprisonment and brand-
ing on the thumb with a hot iron, leaving him in a state of
utter imbecility of mind and body for the rest of his life.
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 85
Jiidah Barrett, after following the auction and commission
business, as a copartner of Jesse DeBruhl, engaged with Dr.
Wells and Levi Sherman in a large speculation in Mississippi
lands, which led to prolonged litigation between the parties,
and finally made his home in New Orleans, where, I under-
stood, he died in poverty. I learnt long afterwards that
he was probably the father of John G. Dunlap, his appren-
tice, who resembled him in his clear voice, glib tongue and
curly black hair.
In 1857, when in New Orleans, I met with Warren An-
drews and Dunlap, who had been clerks with me at Barrett's
forty years before, and we^had a short chat about old times.
A large sign swung on a high post, bearing the inscription
''East Granby Hotel, by Henry Voss," appeared upon the
hill above the boat landing near Granby Ferry, where Dun-
lap and 1 often went to superintend the loading and unload-
ing of Barrett's boats. Voss was a tall, elderly German, in
bad health, who had married an illegitimate daughter of
Colonel David Myers and built a large store and tavern that
were well patronized by the boat hands and others. The
house stood broadside to the road, having the store in front
and the dwelling in rear; a door (the upper half of glass)
leading from one to the other. He had a mulatto boy, said
to be his son, named Joe, or, as he called him, Yoe, to whom
he was much attached ; as was shown by his calling Yoe up
every day after dinner and examining whether he had eaten
enough, by punching him in the stomach, and, if not satis-
fied, by ordering him to "ko pack and eat tell his pelly stuck
He made the acquaintance of John H. Eiffert, a very stout
old double-chinned Bavarian, with sandy gray hair and a big
round red face, mottled all over from excessive eating and
drinking, who kept a store on Hollow Creek, in Lexington,
where he had married a pretty young woman — a daughter of
Abram Mitchell, of Edgefield. Right and left shoes were
just coming into use and they fitted Eiffert exactly when the
right shoe was put on the left foot, and vice versa. Many
people objected to them at first, because they could not be
changed every day like the straight ones. Eiffert, on his
way to Columbia for goods, generally crossed the river at
Granby and stayed a night with Voss, to drink and talk of
old times in the Faderland. On one such trip he brought
his wife along, and after supper he and Voss went into the
store to spend the evening, while their wives remained be-
hind. The old men drank freely and each complained to
the other of his wife's misconduct and insubordination, till
they agreed to go into the back room and give the women a
"d — n vipping." The women, whose curiosity was excited by
the loud talk of their ''old men," listened at the glass door
and gathered the purport of their proposed visit. Then,
putting out their light, they awaited the coming of their lords,
who blundered and staggered in, one holding the candle and
both armed with cowhides. The candle was knocked or
blown out by one of the women, who secreted themselves,
and left the men groping about in the dark, when Eiffert en-
countered Voss, and, mistaking him for his wife, exclaimed:
''Now, you -, I gifs you hell in vonce !" and scored
him unmercifully with the cowhide till out of breath, when
he heard the latter calling out in piteous tones, "Mine
freindt, my vife vip me!"
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 87
LEXINGTON, 1822 TO iSjg.
The Village— George Haltiwanger— A. H. Fort— Jacob Drafts —
John Meetze — Mrs. Corley — The Well Curb — Ephraim Corley —
Adam Mayer — Mrs. Stewart — The Hendrixes.
In 1822 Lexington, twelve miles West of Columbia, on
the stage road to x\iigusta, was a new village in the sand hills,
the County seat having been removed to it a year or two
before as more central and healthful than Granby, which
stood at one edge of the District on the Congaree River.
George Haltiwanger, from the Dutch Fork, held the office
of Sheriff and boarded with A. H. Fort, Clerk and Ordi-
nary, who occupied the lower story of the jail with his
family. While in office, Mr. Haltiwanger married the only
daughter of Frederick Kelly, a well-to-do farmer, a few miles
above the village, and, after the expiration of his term, be-
came a minister of the Lutheran Church. 'Squire Fort was
a kind-hearted man, who never refused a favor, if in his
power, when asked for it, but of strong prejudices and very
odd notions, which he affected to pronounce in very odd lan-
guage. His elevation to office led him to believe himself
more learned than he really was, and very few men were as
wise as he looked, when, in promulgating his decrees, either
officially or otherwise, he seemed to say: ''I am Sir Oracle,
and when I speak let no dog bark." His son William told
of seeing him, when gunning, aim deliberately at a flock of
partridges on the ground but a few yards distant, and that,
after waiting to get them doubled to his mind, he pulled
trigger, but the gun snapped. He grounded arms imme-
diately, dropped the piece to the earth, and, without a word,
walked off home, looking neither to one side nor the other,
and William carried the offending gun home. Another time
he had carefully strapped his razor and sat down to shave
before a piece of looking glass fastened to the bricks by his
fireplace. The first pass that he made cut open his face
nearly the whole length of the razor; the next was a broad-
sword blow at the bricks, breaking off its entire edge.
While discussing a disputed law point, when he was told that
the Judges of the Supreme Court had unanimously decided it
in a certain way, he settled the question by rising on his toes
and declaring that "A. H. Fort never said so." He was a
leading Baptist and sometimes preached, but what his ser-
mons meant was as great a mystery to me as any in the book
Jacob Drafts, (Old Jake,) a son of Granny Corley by her
first husband, who lived on the road a mile or so below the
Court House, acted as Deputy Sheriff, Constable, crier of
the Court and auctioneer at Sheriff's and other sales. While
crying out " Silence in Court!" he made more noise than every-
body else did. He would come to the village and stay drink-
ing a week at a time, annoying and wrangling with everybody,
bragging, blackguarding and sometimes fighting, if sure that
he had the advantage. Then going home, he would remain
two or three months, working hard on his farm, disagreeing
with no one, and quieting his thirst for spirits by filling him-
self with water from his spring, till the appetite became irre-
sistible, when, sometimes leaving his plough in the field, he
would march up to the village for another week's debauch.
While the temperance cause was prevailing he signed the
pledge of total abstinence for a term of six months or a
year, and kept it faithfully till the time was up, but on the
very day that it expired would be found at the grog shop
making up for lost time. This he did more than once. The
poor fellow was killed while cutting down a tree, by its fall-
ing on him and crushing his body, so that he died in a few
Adjoining the court house lot on the Northeast, John
Meetze had a store and was putting up a large house for a tav-
ern. Opposite to his store was another kept by Moses Jacobs,
a Jew, with Lewis Levy, who still lives in Columbia, as clerk.
Next above Jacobs's store was Charles Conner's blacksmith
shop. About a hundred yards Southwest from the court
house lived " Granny Corley," whose lands had been selected
and bought for the public buildings, and who sold lots to
persons wishing to live in the place. On the brow of the
hill South of the court house stood a small single-roomed
building, erected by Judge Gantt in one of his whims, which
afforded a wide view East and South over the valley of
Twelve Mile Creek, through which passed the stage road,
across long, steep, red clay hills, covered partially by ledges
and bowlders of granite. This building, from its form and
appearance, was not inaptly called the well curb. In it my
first son was born. On the hillside North of the creek dwelt
Ephraim Corley, the butcher, who afterwards moved up to a
new house that he built in the village, above the court house.
With the exception of these houses and their lots, there was
nothing but woods, the pine trees and blackjacks standing
within twenty yards in rear of the court house.
John Meetze, whose wife was a sister of West Caughman,
to whom his own sister was married, did more than any and
everybody else in building up the place. He helped all that
needed help, employed the idle, visited the sick, borrowed .
money from every one that had it to spare, agreeing to pay
any rate of interest they asked, and laid it out in farming
and timber lands; started a mill, a tan yard and a distillery,
which was soon discontinued, on the creek, and established
a shoe shop, whilst running wagons and teams to haul timber
and bark to the mill and tan yard and lumber to Columbia,
and to bring back goods for the store and shoe shop. He
worked day and night, overlooking his various enterprises
90 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
and laboring with his own hands at one or another. His
devotion to his wife and children was unbounded, and he
never punished one of his little ones except when it got hurt,
accidentally or otherwise, then it was sure to get a scolding
and slapping. Once, on his way to Columbia, he stopped
at Sharp's, four miles from the village, and sent back a note
by a stranger, begging his wife to keep the children from
going near the well. He took no account of expenses, but
regarded all his receipts as clear gain. He and West Caugh-
man were prominent Lutherans, and a few years later they
spent no small sum in erecting the Lutheran Church and in
promoting education by employing teachers in the academy
at Lexington, which was well attended by pupils from Co-
lumbia, Sandy Run, the Fork and other places. Dennis
Chupp, the famous mathematical genius, Amos Davis from
Fairfield, Lemuel Boozer, (afterwards Judge,) Isaac H.
Smith and Washington Muller, of Charleston, were by turns
Principals in the academy, till it passed into the hands of
Dr. Hazelius, President of the Lutheran Seminary.
Adam Mayer, father of Dr. O. B. Mayer, of Newberry, a
rich planter in upper Dutch Fork, bought a lot next below
the court house and built on it a large house as a hotel for
his mother, Mrs. Stewart, wife of Alexander Stewart, the
tailor, whom she had married in her old age, although she
was old enough to have been his mother. After some
changes this house became mine. She was a hospitable,
busy, bustling old lady, of large size, an excellent cook and
housekeeper, who spoke quite Dutchy, and when excited
used very rough language, as was the custom in the neighbor-
hood where she was brought up. Her father was old Colonel
Summers, long the King of the Dutch Fork, whose word of
command to his regiment once was, "Hold up your heads
and look like the Devil, look like me."
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 91
Captain Mayer had been well educated, and was a good
musician, playing beautifully on the violin and the piano.
An easy-going, good-tempered, unselfish man, he seemed to
care for nothing but enjoyment in the company of the idlers
and loafers of the village, where most of his time was spent,
to the neglect of his plantation. He never said "no" to
any request for pecuniary aid, and would sign a bond or note
as security almost without looking at its amount or consider-
ing whether its principal was worthy or solvent. For ob-
ligations thus assumed, when they amounted to a large sum,
he was sued and his valuable property sacrificed. As Cap-
tain of a cavalry company in the Fork, he owned a splendid
gray parade horse, and expended no small sum in fitting out
members who were too poor to pay for their equipments.
While the tavern was going on, he and some of his compan-
ions, for mischief, one night stole a fine turkey that his
mother was saving for Court. She soon missed the turkey,
and when the boys came in she said to her son: "Atam, my
koppler is kone." "Oh no, mother, I reckon not," was his
answer, to which she rejoined, insisting that he was certainly
gone. They took the* turkey down on the hillside and put
him into an empty crate, near where Jesse Owens had made
a little flutter mill on the branch for the amusement of some
of the children. Next morning a little stuttering negro of
hers, in riding the Captain's horse to water at the branch,
made a noise, to which the turkey responded by a loud and
prolonged gobbling. The boy immediately galloped back
to the house, so full of his discovery that he could hardly
utter a word, but he called out "Mi, Mi, Mi, Misses, I find
you tucky, mam." " Where? where?" she inquired. "Down,
down, down," he repeated and then choked up, when she
gathered a stick and took him whang over the head, exclaim-
ing, at the top of her voice, " Shpeak, shpeak, and tell me
whay my turkey is." This brought from him: "I find him
92 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
in our crockeryware trunk by Mr. Owens's mill." She re-
plied: "Owens, the poor devil, he aint kot no mill." But
the turkey was found, and no one laughed more heartily than
herself when the scene between her and the negro was re-
Jacob Lohnar, her overseer, whom she sometimes called "a
mighty shaggy (shabby) fellow," on one occasion rode the
horse to Charleston with some wagons, and, while going up
King street, was overtaken by a troop of cavalry on parade,
when the gray, in spite of all his rider could do, dashed for-
ward to the head of the company and took the Captain's
place, amid the cheers of the men in ranks, until, at Lohnar's
request, the officer in command escorted him to Johnson's
wagon yard, where, with difficulty, he was separated from the
When Lafayette visited the State in 1825, Captain Mayer's
troop formed a part of the escort that met the old General
at the North Carolina line and accompanied him to Colum-
bia. It mustered one hundred and twenty-five men, each one
mounted on a white horse, all handsomely uniformed and
beautifully caparisoned, and had the further distinction of
escorting the General from Columbia to Charleston.
The Hendrix brothers — John, Henry (old Mike) and
David^soon after bought lots, built houses and removed to
the village. John followed his trade of a carpenter, David
that of a bricklayer, and Heary kept a tavern and store with
the help of his son Leroy, who married Jane Corley, a
daughter of Ephraim Corley. One of John's sons, Thomas,
was the first husband of Mrs. Turnipseed the elder, and their
daughter married Dr. Turnipseed, the distinguished surgeon
and physician, who died here last year, his father being the
second husband of his mother-in-law. David and his sons,
J. A. (Austin), S. N. and Patrick, went to merchandising,
and the two first named sons are now with us in Columbia.
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 93
Jacob Hendrix, a nephew of John Meetze, became a partner
with his uncle in the store and shoe shop. He had seven
sons in succession, who all attained to man's estate.
Z EXING TON. — Conlin tied.
R. H. GoLDTHWAiTE— Allen C. Stillman— The Court House— Bush
Arbor — St, Peter's Church — Jesse Drafts — The German Luther-
ans—Their Habits and Characteristics, Their Negroes, Their
Clothing, Food and Furniture, Their Honesty, Fights and
Weddings— Game— Superstition— Edgefield Ghost.
There was no church, no school, no physician, and but one
lawyer at the place — R. H. Goldthwaite, a well educated and
well read Virginian. Allen C. Stillman, from Connecticut,
was a Justice of the Peace, but he soon moved to Leesville,
and thence, in a year or so, to Alabama. Mr. Goldthwaite,
after marrying Miss Ellen Walker, an adopted daughter of
Mrs. Elizabeth Surginer of Columbia, who had erected and
occupied a cottage about a mile below the village, went to
Spartanburg, and a year or two later emigrated to Alabama,
where he had relatives in high judicial and political stations.
For several years we had no preaching except when a trav-
eling minister happened to stop on Sunday or at night, and
then service was held in the court house, which served also
for public meetings and exhibitions of itinerant showmen.
On the Sabbath we went, generally afoot, to the Methodist
meeting house at Bush Arbor, four miles, or to St. Peter's
Lutheran Church, seven miles above — Rev. Thomas Rail
officiating at the former and Godfrey Dreher or Yost Meetze
at the other. At these places the country girls, to keep their
94 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
Stockings clean, carried them wrapped in their handker-
chiefs till near the church, and then, sitting on a log, put
them on before going into the meeting house.
In a few months Jesse Drafts opened a school, charging
one dollar per month for tuition, but it was several years be-
fore the Lutherans built a church, and longer till the Method-
ists commenced their place of worship, which was not com-
pleted until a still later period.
The people, mostly Germans, or their descendants, were
nearly all Lutherans, there being not many Methodists, still
fewer Baptists, and none of any other denomination. Very few
had any negroes, and those but a small number, who worked
with the white members of the family, all wearing pretty
much the same clothing, which was made up by the white
females, and eating the same food, but never at the same table.
The negroes never went to school nor learnt to read and write,,
but they had their own preachers and meetings on Sunday and
were all Methodists. No colored people, and few others,
ever lived easier or happier lives than they; they were well
fed, well clad, attended to in sickness, provided for in old age,
worked moderately, and relieved from all care as to the future.
The people had all the characteristics and peculiarities of
their forefathers in Germany; honesty, industry, economy,
submission to their rules in Church and State, and a firm be-
lief in dreams, signs, ghosts and witches.
Many women worked in the fields with the men ; some-
times planting, tending and picking out the cotton, then
carding, spinning and weaving it into cloth, which they dyed
and made into garments. Everybody wore homespun, ex-
cept the clergy, the officers of the Court and those of the
militia, whilst acting in their official capacity. Very few
could afford the expense of a broadcloth coat, as required for
militia officers, and therefore an arrangement was made for a
newly elected Captain or Lieutenant to take the uniform of
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 95
his predecessor at a valuation and turn it over to his successor
at the expiration of his term.
When Bill Corley and Jake Gross were rival candidates for
a Lieutenancy, the former very properly urged as an argu-
ment in favor of his election that the coat of the former in-
cumbent fitted himself better than his competitor. But
Gross was elected, and gave evidence of his competency by
his first words of command for a right wheel, saying in a low
voice, " Come round this way boys, you know better than
They had a custom, that I have not met with elsewhere, of
calling married women by the Christian names of their hus-
bands; thus, Betsey, the wife of West Caughman, was called,
not Betsey Caughman, but Betsey West, and Jacob Drafts's
wife, Christena, was Tena Jacob.
The people worked hard and lived cheaply, buying nothing
but absolute necessaries, except whisky and tobacco for the
men, and, perhaps, ribbons and calico for the women. The
latter prided themselves upon the texture and coloring of
their homespun, using indigo, copperas, madder, annato and
logwood, besides certain barks and roots for dyeing, with
Turkey red, a bright scarlet thread for stripes and checks.
For their necessaries they went in debt to the stores till their
crops were made, when they, with few exceptions, paid up at
or before New Year, and if any surplus remained it was laid
out and not laid up. The few exceptions to this rule began by
lending on interest the small surplus from their earnings and
adding to it from year to year. Their doctors, blacksmiths,
shoemakers and all gave and took the same yearly credit.
Many of the elders always bought the quarto German Calen-
dar because it gave the signs for the weather and for planting
more fully than the English Almanac. Their average height
was greater than in other sections, insomuch that a close ob-
server from Fairfield, who attended Lexington Court, said
he saw more long-legged boys and girls there in a day than
Winnsboro could show in a week. And they were distin-
guished from their neighbors across Broad River in another
respect. As witnesses in Court they generally tried to tell as
little as possible, whilst it was said of the descendants of the
Irish, in Fairfield, that they went to the other extreme and
always told at least as much as they knew.
The rule of honesty was so universal that no one ever
thought of locking up a house at night, and during my seven-
teen years at Lexington but one burglary occurred in the
village and its vicinity. For a year or two after my removal
from Lexington to Columbia my front door was never locked,
till an attempt to rob Colonel Goodwyn's bed room, when
the thief, being suddenly alarmed, left a long Bowie knife on
the floor, which taught me the necessity for greater precaution.
And whilst acting as tax collector, although it was publicly
known that I traversed the most londy and deserted portions
of the District with a considerable sum of money, I never
carried a weapon of any kind. Like young Lochinvar,
" I rode all unarmed, and I rode all alone."
A sale day, muster or election seldom passed without one
or more fights, and when one commenced a dozen men, more
or less under the influence of liquor, would be seen with their
coats off, pulling and hauling, whooping and yelling, — some
helping their friends, others crying ''Fairplay," — and in the
crowd a blow given accidentally or otherwise would lead to
another engagement. But no pistol, knife, or even stick, was
ever used or thought of on such occasions. After a "rota-
tion" of this kind, rotten apple, raw beef or alum curd
would be applied to the gouged eyes.
Deer, wild turkeys and smaller game were abundant in the
swamps and sand hills, and every winter wild pigeons came
in numbers numberless. Where they roosted at night, on the
trees and bushes in Congaree Creek Swamp, parties went
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 97
with sticks and killed them by hundreds. On their departure
in the spring I happened one morning to be on the hill above
the village, commanding a view of six or eight miles to the
South and two or three both East and West, where for nearly
an hour the whole horizon in every direction was filled with
them as they passed in rapid flight toward the South. Con-
sidering the number that must have been in sight at one time
and the short period in which they were replaced by others,
the aggregate would seem to be simply incalculable.
Fire hunting for deer was not uncommon, one carrying a
torch of fire, which reflected the light in the eyes of the
game and showed the marksman where to direct his aim.
Old Mr. Wilson on one occasion took three fair cracks at
the moon, which he mistook for a deer's eyes, as she rose
through the bushes. Moccasins of dressed deer skin were
made and sold by the old hunters, furnishing a cheap and
pleasant covering for the feet in warm, dry weather.
They used no carpets, but white sand, washed free from
dirt and dust, was sprinkled lightly over the floors and swept
with a straw broom into waves and curves for ornament.
Every family had a brick oven for baking on Saturday the
week's supply of bread, fruit pies, when in season, and sweet
potato custards, which were eaten cold ; the bread, generally
a mixture of wheat flour and potatoes, raised with domestic
yeast, called ''sour dough," which kept soft, moist and
sweet, and it was, they said, more healthful and palatable than
the hot corn bread so commonly used by other people. Then,
too, no winter came without a barrel of sauer kraut in each
house, made by fastening a fore plane bottom upwards and
shaving on it the cabbage and turnips into shreds, then pack-
ing them alternately with layers of salt, till the vessel was
full, and covering it with a loose head and a heavy weight to
keep it down and induce fermentation. A big round pewter
dish of this kraut, with a little bit of fat bacon in the mid-
die, flanked by roast pork or fried chicken, constituted their
favorite meal at dinner, which was always taken at 12 o'clock,
a midday mark being made on the floor, to which the shadow
came at that hour. For breakfast and supper, coffee or tea
was rarely used, clabber in summer and milk in winter com-
monly supplying their place. Old Andrew Tarrar declared
that taking tea, coffee and medicine was nothing but pride;
that he ate soup for breakfast and milk for supper and never
needed anything else. As for soups and fried cakes, the
Germans had more and better varieties than any other
nationalities in our country. They eat less hominy and rice
than others; boiled their own soap for washing clothes and
moulded their candles of tallow and beeswax.
Their chairs were split-bottomed, with stools and benches,
their tables of pine or oak, their bedsteads fastened with
ropes passing through holes in the bars from side to side and
from end to end, and they used straw beds instead of mat-
tresses. Some old women could not sleep on bedsteads
having slats in place of cords. Spittoons were unknown;
when John Wise first met with one, he called it the biggest
inkstand he ever seed.
At weddings, which were nearly always in the forenoon, all
neighbors attended with or without invitations, cards being
unknown, and were welcomed with whisky to drink and a
plentiful dinner, set out, when the weather permitted, on a
long table of boards laid on benches under trees in the yard.
Then the young folks and some of the old ones "walked for
the cake," a ceremony confined, so far as I know, to the
German settlers. For this purpose, those proposing to en-
gage in the game contributed small sums of money, which
were given to the bride, in payment for a large pound cake,
that became the prize, depending upon the following chance:
Each young man selected his partner of the other sex, and
they, headed by the bride and groom, marched in double file
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 99
around the house, where at the front door one stood with a
long rod, which he handed to the first couple, and when they
reached the door again it was taken from them and delivered
to the next pair, who in turn surrendered it to their im-
mediate followers. Meantime a party of three or four took
a loaded gun into the woods, out of sight from the house,
and after waiting a quarter or half hour fired it off, the couple
having the rod in hand when the gun was fired winning the
cake, which was usually cut up and divided among the
players, the girls saving a small bit to put under their pillows
at night, on which to dream of their future lovers. I have
seen, and sometimes joined in, the parade with as many as
thirty or forty pairs. Whenever old Jake Drafts and Nancy
Jacob (wife of Jacob Kelly) were present, they took part
in the sport. • He would call out in a loud voice, *' Where's
Uncle Nance?" to which she laughingly responded, "I
God, here I am," amid the cheers and merriment of the rest.
As to their superstition, every one could give instances of
witchcraft, apparitions and the fulfillment of dreams and
signs. The Bible was their authority for the existence of
witches, and they believed in the one as firmly as in the
other. No neighborhood was without its witches — commonly
a poor old deserted woman, who deserved pity rather than
the fear and loathing that was her portion. If a cow ceased
to give her usual quantity of milk, the remedy was to put a
silver coin into the piggin or bucket before milking. If a
man was ridden by the witches at night — such things never
occurred in the day time — he had but to set up an image of his
tormentor and shoot at it with a silver bullet, the result being
that the witch was wounded in that place where the picture
was hit by the ball. Conner, the blacksmith, made many
a half dollar by moulding bullets for those thus afflicted, who
brought their silver coin to be melted and moulded by him,
which he put into the crucible and subjected to the heat gene-
100 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
rated by blowing his bellows till it came near the melting
point, when the bewitched person was called out of the shop
long enough for the coin to be abstracted and its place filled
Avith pewter and tin, the mixture being poured into the mold
and coming out a white, shining ball, that never failed to
wound or kill the witch and relieve the patient.
John Drenan told Manuel Seastrunk another way to get
rid of the witches that had plagued him for months. He
advised him to bore a hole six inches deep, with an inch and
a half auger, in a big post oak that stood some distance East
of his house, and then to stop the hole with a hickory plug
that fitted it tight, having a tube bored lengthwise through
the plug with a gimlet, and, after ramming it down on a
quarter pound of powder, to fill the tube with a fuse and
touch it off while he stood directly in front to see the witch
blown out. Seastrunk said he tried it, and the plug flew out
close to his head, but he saw no witch. This poor ignorant
creature, as recommended by Amos Banks, Sheriff, actually
walked fifteen miles with a letter to Cage Martin's, who
Banks said had the book containing a sure receipt for curing
witches, and being told by Martin that Colonel Lee had
just borrowed the book, he went three miles further, when
Lee informed him that the volume was then in the possession
of John Meetze at the Court House. At the village he learnt
that Meetze was in the woods, near Congaree Creek, cutting
logs for his mill, and thither he proceeded, relating to Meetze
his misfortunes and begging him for help. But the latter had
no relish for such sport, if it deserved the name, and he ad-
vised Seastrunk to go home and attend to his crop, but he
thought his adviser a hard-hearted, unfeeling man, who had
no sympathy for those in distress.
Another case was that of Martin Lybrand, a respectable
farmer, whose character for veracity upon any other subject
was undoubted, and who offered to swear upon a stack of
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 101
Bibles as big as the court house that a certain old woman
living near him repeatedly changed him into a horse at night
and rode him to a deserted house in the sand hills, where she
hitched him to a tree, while she went into the building, and
he saw lights and heard music and dancing till just before
day. It may be stated, in explanation or excuse for this hal-
lucination, that he was for many months in very bad health
with some nervous disorder; but, beyond all question, he sin-
cerely believed what he said, as did most of his neighbors.
Old Mr. Ramick, on the public road, built a high rail fence
around his house to keep out intruders, and actually refused
a cup of cold water to all thirsty travelers, lest he might
thereby give them the power to bewitch him or his wife.
And this condition of things existed within ten miles of
the capital of South Carolina as late as the year 1835. J^'^"^"'^
Strother, a little black-eyed, black-haired and dark-skinned
fellow, said that he had been ridden in the same way by an
old witch in the Dutch Fork, but that she made a great mis-
take, for on looking at himself he was a bright sorrel, whereas
he should have been a dark brown.
The old hunters universally believed that certain persons,
by *' using" or conjuring, could put a spell upon their rifles
and make them miss the game that they were otherwise sure
to kill, and there were various methods or processes for re-
moving the spell and restoring the accuracy of their aim.
Those who are old enough will remember the Edgefield
ghost, that created a great sensation by conversing with a
family of- good standing and its visitors in open day, whilst
no one could be seen. This strange affair attracted so much
attention that people came from far and near to witness and
unravel the mystery; among others the Rev. Mr. Hodges, an
educated minister of the Baptist Church, who published in
the Edgefield paper an account of what he heard^ conclud-
ing that it was beyond his comprehension.
103 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
Wm. Jones and John Caldwell — Speech of the Latter in Dutch
Fork — My Election as Tax Collector and Marriage — Stenog-
raphy AND Bookkeeping — Bishop Capers and Mr. Petigru — Revs.
Thomas Rall, Godfrey Dreher and Yost Meetze— John Snyder.
Wm. Jones, an early graduate of South Carolina College,
from Edgefield, came to Lexington soon after I did, and
opened a law office in rear of the court house in copartner-
ship with John Caldwell of Newberry, a cousin of John C.
Calhoun, who was said to have been the equal of the great
statesman in their young days. Mr. Caldwell represented
Newberry in the House of Representatives for many years,
and was quite popular and successful as a jury lawyer, but he
drank to great excess and lost the use of his lower limbs, so
that late in life he walked with difficulty and could hardly
stand, the Courts allowing him to keep his seat while speak-
ing. In the House he clung to one of the columns when
addressing that body, and Judge Butler said he could be
always found ''at his post." I have heard the Judge tell, in
Caldwell's presence, of a public meeting in the Dutch Fork,
where the latter had been invited to address his constituents.
According to Butler, a bar crossed the platform or speaker's
stand in front, just low enough for Nick Summer to put his
chin over it, but so high that Caldwell, who was shorter,
could not see the crowd when speaking without stooping
below the bar or standing on tiptoe all the time. No one
present felt competent to draft the resolutions in honor of
their guest, and, at their request, Caldwell himself wrote
them out, eulogizing their distinguished Representative for the
ability, fidelity and efficiency with which he had served his
native District. Then, when they were read to the meeting,
he rose and commenced by returning his thanks for the very
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 103
flattering and unexpected compliment, &c. He was immod-
erately fond of cards, and because I played a pretty good
game of whist he helped to elect me as Tax Collector of Lex-
ington in 1824, that office being then-in the gift of the Leg-
islature. And thus my early knowledge of cards served in
promoting me to office and increasing my income, which was
very acceptable, as I had married in the spring of that year on
a salary of a hundred and eighty dollars a year, with the
board of myself and wife. This may seem to have been an
imprudent step, but as we were both young and healthy, with
no expensive habits or extravagant aspirations, we lived
contented and saved something for a rainy day ; so that it
proved to be the best thing I could have done. West Caugh-
man, my brother-in-law, was also a member of the House,
and between him and Caldwell my election was secured. In
view of the strange way in which this promotion was effected,
I advise all my young friends to never be afraid of learning
too much, since one can never foresee how or where his
knowledge may prove profitable. Not that I would recom-
mend a course of whist or poker as an introduction to office,
but as showing how chance has seemed to affect me on more
than one occasion.
For instance — after clerking for Mr. Meetze a couple of
years, I, with his assistance, bought a small stock of goods
and set up for myself. Whilst making purchases in Charles-
ton, I picked up in a book store a treatise on stenography, and,
in the leisure of a village store, practiced short-hand writing
merely for amusement ; but the consequence was, that A. S.
(Sid) Johnston, then State Printer, employed me to report
the proceedings of the Legislature. And whilst thus engaged,
a vacancy for Teller in the Commercial Bank had to be
filled, to which I was elected on the recommendations of
Judge Gantt, Judge O'Neale, Judge Glover, who was at that
time Clerk of the House, and others whose acquaintance I
104 KANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
had made in the offices of Clerk of the Court and Reporter.
Again, in the same way, I learnt bookkeeping, with no ex-
pectation of ever using that knowledge except in my regular
business; and now, after a lapse of more than fifty years, it
gives me employment and remuneration for many an hour
that would otherwise be spent idly and unprofitably.
Jones had been a college mate of Bishop Capers, James
L. Petigru, his partner Caldwell and other distinguished men.
Among other anecdotes of his life at that time, he related
that Mr. Capers delivered a funeral sermon on the death of
a favorite dog, and that he, (Jones,) who was inclined to be a
poet, composed a hymn that was sung by the students on the
occasion. After leaving college, he corresponded with some
of the students, many of whose letters he kept, and among
them I recollect the beginning of a rhyming reply from Mr.
" Your Hudibrastic strains, dear Jones,
Are sweeter, far, to me than tones
Of any mocking bird or fiddle,
Though many I have heard that did well."
The habit of drinking increased upon him and he died a
The office of Tax Collector, if properly filled, is the best
of all stepping stones to public favor. It brought me in direct
contact with every property holder in the District, and en-
abled me, by diligence and courtesy, to secure their good
will, so that any place in their gift was at my command, as
was proven, after my re-election for a second term, by their
making me twice Clerk of the Court and a delegate to the
Nullification Convention of 1832 and 1833. The leading
men of the District at that time deserve a passing notice, as
I got acquainted with them at the village and in my rounds
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 105
Rev. Thomas Rail, of the Methodist Church, kept a
country tavern for travelers, four miles above the village on
the Augusta road, and Thomas K. Poindexter had another
five miles beyond. From being one of the worst and
wickedest men in the world, Mr. Rail got converted and
became a sincere and exemplary Christian minister, wishing
well and doing good to all in his power.
Reverend Godfrey Dreher, of the Fork, had charge of
three or four Lutheran churches, where he preached on differ-
ent Sundays every month, and was long looked up to and
almost worshiped by his congregations, because among
other reasons, he was a great stickler for old customs and ob-
servances and opposed all measures of reform or innovations.
I once asked a little boy who made him, and he replied
"Godfrey," though he might have meant God. After using
his influence in establishing the Lutheran Seminary at Lex-
ington for the education of young men desiring to become
ministers, he got into a serious and unfortunate controversy
with some of his brother clergymen, partly on doctrinal
points and partly because they weakened his power over his
followers. This led to a division in the church and a law
suit for the possession and control of some of the church
edifices, followed with very bitter feelings and language un-
becoming their sacred calling, in which both parties were
sometimes to blame. Finally, I believe, he was formally read
out of the connection by the Seminary party, but, supported
by his adherents, he held on to a number of the churches,
and brought from North Carolina the Efirds, ministers of
the Hinkleite branch of the old Lutheran Church, whom he
introduced as pastors of several of his former congregations.
These disputes and dissensions continued for many years,
and I doubt whether the feelings and passions then engen-
dered have yet passed entirely away. Old Mr. Samuel Win-
gard once told me that he had long respected Dreher as a
100 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
preacher, but for the future he should treat him as a republi-
can and a sinner. He always slept in church and insisted
that it was a sign of a good conscience.
Reverend Yost Meetze was quite an old man when I made
his acquaintance. He was a Hessian by birth— one of those
German soldiers that were sold by their hereditary Prince to
the King of England for the subjugation of the rebels in
America. Whilst a youth, his father's house in Hesse Cassel
was surrounded at night by a squad of soldiers, who called
up the family and commanded the boy to go with them.
Unable to resist, he bade farewell to father, mother and the
rest of the household, and was forthwith shipped off to the
United States. He deserted from the British army in Charles-
ton and made his way alone to the German settlement in
Lexington, then a part of Saxe Gotha, where he married,
settled a farm on a piece of excellent land near Saluda River,
became a minister of the Lutheran Church, and reared a
large family of sons and daughters, who all inherited healthy
constitutions, with enough land to start them in life, and
lived to a good old age. Like all others in those days, he
drank some spirituous liquor every day, and on receipt of a
circular from a New England temperance society offering
him a life membership for twenty dollars, he laughed and
said that sum would buy whisky enough to last him as long
as he lived.
And here I must express my dissent from the opinion of
some of my most valued and intelligent friends, who think I
ought to have suppressed or smoothed over his desertion
from the British army, as if he had done some improper or
criminal act in so deserting. On the contrary, I consider it
as not only eminently right and proper, under the circum-
stances, but perfectly justifiable and highly praiseworthy.
What were the circumstances? He was a native German,
kidnapped and forced into the British service, not only with-
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 107
out his consent, but against his will and in violation of his
most sacred rights, under no earthly obligation, in any legal,
moral, pecuniary or patriotic sense, to the King of England,
to whom he owed no allegiance and was not bound to render
any service; and the fact that more of them did not desert
was probably because they were in a strange land among
people speaking a language not understood by them, whom
the British officers led them to believe would show them no
quarter. And, as a foreigner to both the British and the
Americans, he had no more business to interfere in their con-
test than any individual would have to intermeddle in a quar-
rel between a man and his wife or his children. And if he
joined General Green's forces at Bacon's Bridge, near
Charleston, as some say he claimed to have done, it must
have been because he regarded ours as a just cause and
intended to cast his lot with us. This much is certain:
he had more than ordinary common sense, and was so far
from being ashamed of his course on that occasion that
he spoke of it freely, and any disgrace or reflection upon
his character for that course would attach to my own chil-
dren, for his daughtej was my wife. As to his drinking,
it was the universal custom of the country at that time,
the only exceptions being some of the Methodist preachers,
whose discipline enjoined total abstinence. The manner of
his abduction shows the degraded condition of the lower
classes in Europe a hundred years ago. •
He once told me that he had made upwards of forty crops
from his land and never found it too wet or too dry to
plough. On rainy days when confined to the house, he
made wagon whips and split bottom chairs, which he sold in
Lexington village and Columbia. A short time before his
death he opened a correspondence with his family in the old
country, which resulted in the immigration of his cousin,
John Snyder, and his wife and children, with the Mabuses,
to Lexington in 1832.
108 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
Being a capital blacksmith, Mr. Snyder set to work in the
village, where his hammer was heard after the rest of us had
gone to bed and long before we rose in the morning. A
brisk, active little body, as solid as a knot, he never took
the pipe from his mouth except to eat or drink. He had be-
longed to the Prussian army that followed Napoleon into
France after his defeat at Leipsic, and he told how the Ger-
man soldiers danced 'Mike de debil " with the French gals
on the frontier, and how the savage Cossacks ate and slept
with their horses in the dirt and filth of their stables. • Like
other Germans of the rural class, his great ambition was to
become a landholder, which had been beyond his hopes in
the old country, and he soon made enough in his shop to pur-
chase a farm, where he took care to raise his supply of smok-
L EXING TON.—Contimied.
SOME LEADING MEN OF THE DISTRICT.
West Caughman, John W. Lee, John Quattlebaum, Daniel Rambo,
Tommy Williamson, Simon Redmond and John Hoover— Muller
& Senn — Major Threewits — Old Granbt and Its Inhabitants —
A Tale of a Shirt,
West Caughman lived a mile East of the village and had a
grist and saw mill on Twelve Mile Creek — a stream that,
though only fifteen or twenty miles long in a direct line, had
by its rapid and unfailing flow of water probably more mills
than any other of the same length in the State. He had only a
scant old field school education, but was blest with a fund of
plain common sense and undoubted uprightness and integ-
rity, which made him a leader, a model and a guide, and,
with his large family connections, caused him to be repeat-
edly elected to the Legislature, where he was highly respected
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 109
for his many sterling good qualities. He was very tall and
thin, and Judge Butler said that while on the Committee of
Roads, Bridges and Ferries he proposed to abolish all bridges,
declaring that a well-made man could stride across the streams.
Colonel John W. Lee of Leesville, eighteen miles above
Lexington, on the stage road to Augusta, of fine address, free
and easy speech and manners, liberal and hospitable deport-
ment, with considerable means, was the most popular man in
his section. Of his large family of sons, many, with their
descendants, still live in Lexington, Edgefield and Columbia.
His daughter Mary, beautiful and accomplished, married
McMillan, an understrapper of John McLean, and removed
to Darlington, where, I believe, she still survives. The
Colonel used to tell of his going once to a sale or muster in a
broadcloth coat —the only one on the ground — and that first
one and then another of his neighbors pinched him on the
shoulder, with the request of a word with him, when they
one and all dunned him for the money they had loaned him,
till before the day was over they had pinched a hole on each
of his shoulders as big as an epaulette, and from that time
forth he always wore homespun.
At Hollow Creek were the Caughmans, Crouts, Lominicks,
Vansants, Robertses and others. Captain John Quattlebaum,
father of General Paul, lived a few miles South of Leesville,
where he became celebrated as a maker of rifles that obtained
a wide reputation and sale in this State, Georgia and North
Carolina for their fine finish and accurate aim. He was very
tenacious of his opinions, and rather fond of controversy,
especially on politics and religion.
In the neighborhood of John Howard's grog shop were
Elisha Hammond, father of James H. Hammond, the bril-
liant lawyer and statesman, who rose to be Congressman and
Governor; Peter Rowe, who lived to be a hundred years
old, Jesse Fox, father of my old friend John Fox, afterwards
110 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
Sheriff and Clerk for many years, George Steedman, the
Gants, Gunters, HaHmans and others. The people of this
neighborhood were very litigious, and when one had a case in
Court he generally came to the village in a wagon, bringing all
his family and kin as witnesses, and camping out at night to save
expenses. Besides, some of them brought ginger cakes and
cider or spruce beer for sale, and their wagons, with the rear
end open to expose their wares, filled the Court yard. Squire
Steedman was sued for slandering Gant and Rankin, in accus-
ing them of stealing his bull, and the jury gave them a verdict
of fifteen hundred dollars, which was regarded as a very large
amount for Lexington. His many sons and grandsons are
widely scattered and have gained wealth and distinction.
Some fifteen miles below Howard's, Daniel Rambo dwelt and
owned mills on the head waters of Edisto River, and I found
no house, settlement or water course for nearly the whole dis-
tance. Late in life he moved West, and his son Samuel,
after going to school at Lexington, married a daughter of A.
H. Fort, and some years later, when she died, took her sister
for his second wife. From Rambo's I went to Simon Red-
mond's, on Bull Swamp, where the neighboring taxpayers,
the Huttos, old John Hoover and others, met me at night
and paid their dues to the State, passing by Williamson's
mills, at the regimental muster ground, owned by Tommy
Williamson, who furnished food, lodging and whisky to all
comers, and, drinking all the time, was never exactly drunk
or sober, but just comfortably boozy. His regular charge
was a dollar and a half — no more, no less, whether one stayed
a single night or a week. He always neglected privates for
officers, and paid attention to each in proportion to his rank.
Thus, a Lieutenant was treated with marked respect till a
Captain appeared, then the latter received all notice and re-
gard until the arrival of a Major, who in turn was ignored for
the Colonel, and he for the General or the Governor when
he happened to be present.
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. Ill
Redmond, though very poor, would take no pay for the
entertainment he furnished me, refusing to let me give a half
dollar to one of his children, and when I left one on the
table or the floor he was so scrupulous as to keep i-t till my
return and tender it back to me.
Thence twelve or fifteen miles East through an unbroken
forest of pines, with scarcely any undergrowth, my way led to
Sandy Run, on the State road, at the store of MuUer & Senn.
Henry Muller and Rufus Senn, (a lame man,) whose sons,
bearing the same names, so worthily represent lower Lex-
ington in Columbia. Here were the Geigers, Bakers, Kaig-
lers, Saylors and other rich owners of lands on the Congaree.
A few miles above, on the way to Granby, Major John
Threewits, an old Revolutionary soldier, lived, a mile or so to
the West of the road. While serving in the Legislature some
years previously, he rode to Columbia on horseback every
morning and hitched his steed to one of the oaks in the
State House yard, with a bundle of fodder tied on behind
the saddle. And when the Bank of the State issued one
dollar bills with a vignette representing the State House,
some one objected to .the correctness of the picture, because
it failed to show Major Threewits's horse tied to the tree with
the fodder on his back.
At Granby the British had a fort in the war of the Revolu-
tion, and Mr. Cayce's house, that stands on the hill just
North of the place, shows a hole in its Northern end made
by a small cannon ball when the fort was besieged, and I
believe captured by the Americans, towards the close of the
war. The town being at the head of navigation on the
Congaree, with a ferry on the road leading to the up country,
and broad, fertile river swamp lands extending many miles
below, was a place of considerable business, and some of its
112 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
merchants made fortunes and lived in good style. Their
families were well educated and formed a circle of refined
society, that was at once moral and elevated. Among them
were the -Balls, Hanes, Arthurs, Fridays, Seibelses and others,
whose representatives go to make up the present population
of Columbia and its vicinity. But when the State capital,
the South Carolina College and the sessions of the Supreme
Court were established at Columbia, Granby began to de-
cline. It had always been unhealthy, the superior capital
and enterprise of the merchants in Columbia in time drew
trade from the place, and after the removal of the County
seat to Lexington it became a deserted village; so that in
1822 but two or three stores remained, those of MuUer &
Senn and Pou & Seibels (Lewis Pou and Henry Seibels)
being all that I recollect. When I first collected taxes there in
1825, General Henry Arthur, Wolf Hane, son of Nicholas
Hane, a rosy old gentleman, owner of the ferry, Mrs. Eliza-
beth Bell, Friday Arthur and James Cayce, who kept a
public house, a mill and blacksmith and coach-making shops,
were the most prominent reliques of Granby's former pros-
And here I will repeat an anecdote related by John Cald-
well, which may be called
A Tale of a Shirt.
On a fine sunny morning in May, 1806, a gay party of
young folks, both male and female, assembled at the residence
of Alexander Bell, Sr., in Granby, to take an excursion on
horseback some ten miles up the river to the ferry on Saluda,
then known as Kennerly's, just above which James Kennerly,
Esq., resided; his dwelling, a roomy, rambling country
house, being on the East bank of the river, so close to it that
a heavy body dropped from one of the windows would foil
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 113
into the water. Among the gentlemen present were John
Caldwell of Newberry, and John Mayrant of Sumter, both
then in College, and it was arranged that they, with two of
the girls, should pass the night and part of the next day at
Kennerly's, while the rest of the cavalcade, after all had
enjoyed themselves boating and fishing in the river, were to
return to Granby at the close of the day. The two colle-
gians were rivals for the favor of one of the young ladies
who remained behind when the others had gone back. They
were dressed' in the tip of the prevailing fashion, but May-
rant rejoiced in the display of a magnificent ruffled shirt, got
up in better style and of finer material than usual, so that it
attracted the attention and excited the applause and admira-
tion of the fair sex, and, as Caldwell thought, gave its owner
an advantage that he was not otherwise entitled to. At bed
time they were put into the same room with several other
young men who had called to see the belles from Granby,
and Mayrant, to save his shirt from being rumpled, pulled it
off and hung it upon a chair. This was observed by Cald-
well, who, instigated by the demon of mischief and jealousy,
and counting all means fair in love and war, resolved to put
the offending garment out of the way. Accordingly, at the
dead of night, while all the others were asleep, he rose steal-
thily, and, wrapping the object of his hate around a brick,
threw it from one of the windows as far as he could into the
river. Next morning when Mayrant arose his shirt was miss-
ing, and, after a thorough and fruitless search, he was forced
to button up his vest and coat, and, leaving an apology to the
ladies and family for his sudden departure, to order his horse
and take the road to Columbia, leaving Caldwell in full pos-
session of the field. Whether he suspected his rival of any
agency in the mysterious disappearance of the garment was
not known ; but Caldwell said twenty years afterwards that
he could never muster up the courage to tell Mayrant what
lU RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
had become of his shirt. Neither of them succeeded in gain-
ing the young lady — a Miss Bell — who was first married to a
Mr. Heron and afterwards to Major Benjamin Hart.
As already stated, the old court house, after being used as
a Presbyterian church, in Columbia, became the residence
of Mr. Kinard.
James G. Gibbes, whilst manager of the Saluda Factory,
bought the rest of the old houses in Granby from Captain
Alexander R. Taylor, for three hundred dollars, and moved
them to the Factory, where he converted them into dwellings
and outhouses for the operatives, but he found great difficulty
in drawing out the wrought nails with which they had been
built. These had been made before the introduction of cut
nails, and were hammered out separately on the anvil by the
blacksmith, and, owing to their roughness, they adhered to
the wood so as to split the boards and leave Gibbes less profit
than he had expected from the purchase.
Z EXING TON.— Continued.
THE DUTCH FORK.
Lorick's— "My Pally Hurts Me "—Spring Hill— Thomas Boyd, Se-
nior — LiNDLER AS A BRIDEGROOM — COUNTS'S— HeNRY SmITH AND
His Muddbrwit— Shealy's— Tom Frick and His Faith —Wise's—
From Granby I returned home, and proceeded the next
week to collect in the Fork, at George Lorick's, Spring Hill,
(then kept by Thomas L. Veal,) and Colonel Jacob Counts's,
on the road from Columbia to Newberry, and at Shealy's and
Fred. Wise's, on Saluda. At Lorick's I met the Shulers,
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 115
Metzes, Huffmans, Leapharts, Loricks, Cooglers and others,
whose proximity to the Columbia market enhanced the value
of their lands far beyond what it would have been at a greater
distance. The Drehers lived on Saluda and generally paid at
the Court House. As the story was told, two brothers of an
old Datch family returning from a muster at Lorick's, one
asked the other: " Vy didn't you vip dat feller what cussed
you to-day?" "Oh, my pally hurt me," was the answer.
"But vy didn't yoii vip him ven he cussed you?^^ " 'Cause
my pally hurt me too." And it became a common saying
when one's courage failed that he had the stomach ache.
Among the men noted for their eccentricity at Spring Hill
was Thomas Boyd, Senior, an Irishman, whose habits were so
miserly that, though well off, he denied himself and his family
the common necessaries of life, and hid away his money
by boring auger holes in large blocks of wood, into which he
dropped his gold and silver coins, and then, covering them
with cloth, used them as chairs. After his death upwards of
seven thousand dollars were found that he had concealed in
this way and in cracks of the log house that he occupied.
He was once savagely attacked and disabled for some time by
a neighbor's bull, and his constant cry was: "Oh, that iver
I should come ah the way from ould Ireland to be killed by
Busby's bul,^' the last word being pronounced with the short
sound, like but. When he recovered, in reply to the remark
that he had made a narrow escape, he exclaimed: "Hoot,
mon ! Do ye think I'd come ah the way from ould Ireland
to be killed by Busby's bul?''' He was an avowed infidel,
and his reply to David Richardson, his son-in-law, who told
him that his life had been spared providentially, was: "Nay,
nay; if Providence had wanted to see a bul fight, he would
have put the animal on a far stronger mon than I am." His
son. Captain Tom, always said he didn't care for whisky
without he could get his belly full.
ne RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
At Spring Hill the favorite amusement was throwing long
bullets or rolling small cannon balls by hand. The leading
families in the neighborhood were the Riveses, Williamsons,
Freshleys, Eleazers, Slices, Lindlers, Busbys and others.
When Colonel Caughman asked one of the Dutch girls to
dance with him, she replied: "Oh, I can't tance;" and on
his inquiring why, she said: "I is too shtifT."
Of one of the Lindlers it was told that after marrying he
took his wife home and at bed time said to her : '' Now, Petsy,
you must shleep in dat little room ; me and proder Jake been
shleepin togedder so long ve can't do bidout." Once, when
joking with some girls at my house, I asked them what they
would have done with such a bridegroom, and one of them
answered venomously: "I'd have shot him."
At and near Colonel Counts's, among others, were the Sum-
mers, Fulmers, Sweetenbergs, Major Mathis, Setzlers, Bun-
dricks and Millers, and they amused themselves by pitching
dollars, at which some of them were wonderfully proficient.
Henry Smith, who had married into the Summer family,
though untaught, was a capital millwright, and among other
experiments he tried, after using the water in working a mill,
to carry it back into the pond by buckets, and thus make an
approach to perpetual motion. He moved from the Fork to
the Sand Hills and erected a mill on Black Creek, where he
made money and concealed a considerable sum in silver coin
at one time under the floor of his dwelling, whence it was
abstracted, and he was sued for slander by a member of his
family whom he accused of having stolen it. When in his
cups he boasted much of his "mudderwit," but it failed to
secure the treasure beneath his house.
I met at Shealy's, near Saluda, many of that name, with the
Mayers, Fricks, Amicks, Ballantines and others.
I remember old Tom Frick, a regular Lutheran, telling me
that a young preacher a few days before had said in the pul-
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 117
pit: ''If I were to ask every member of this congregation,
what is faith? I doubt if one could give the correct answer,"
to which the old man added, "I'll be d — n if I didn't
know what it was as well as he did !"
Mr. Wise's mother and his mother-in-law, both very old
women, lived in his house with him, his wife and a large
family of children, thus showing three, if not four, genera-
tions under the same roof, and they all seemed to be quiet
and peaceful. Here I saw the last flax wheel turned by a
treadle by the feet of one of the old ladies, and he kept up the
practice of having one of his children stand by the table and
ask a blessing before meals. Fred Wise's station was attended
by the Hylers, Stingleys, Harmons and others.
Old George Gross, being somewhat deaf, failed one morn-
ing to hear the petition pronounced by one of his children
and repeated it himself, whereupon his wife drawled out,
*'I reckon we'll have grace enough dis toime." At Henry
Meetze's table, after he had asked a blessing, Adam Summer
told him, "If I couldn't say a better grace than that, I'll be
d — n if I didn't quit," and when Henry Summer heard of
it he said Meetze ought to have kicked Adam out of the
house. Dr. Lindsay was once invited by some mischievous
girls at the dinner table to ask a blessing, but he replied that
where he came from they always saved time by saying grace
over the beef and pork when they killed it.
118 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
Amos Banks, the Humorist— Buckeye Bayles— Whitman, the Black-
smith — Paysinger and Bates — Deep Swimming Dominick and His
Gun — Drunken Men and Hogs — Nicknames — Verses.
Amos Banks preceded and succeeded Mr. Haltiwanger as
Sheriff, and lived in the jail, Squire Fort having removed
to his new house on the brow of the hill below. Banks was
an inveterate humorist, whose main object in life seemed to be
making fun. His face was serious to solemnity even when
telling and enjoying a joke, enabling him to impose the most
improbable stories on his hearers as actual facts. He attri-
buted his slight lameness to his having stolen a bag of shot
when a youth and concealing it in his breeches pocket, which
drew him to one side. Being asked the news on his way
from Columbia during a session of the Legislature, he re-
ported that two members of the House, whom he named,
had got into a quarrel and fight in the Representative hall,
in which their friends joined, and that the Assembly had
broken up in confusion, the members all going home, without
passing the bills to raise supplies or make appropriations, and
that consequently no taxes would be collected the next year.
Then he left his hearer, who repeated the news to his neigh-
bors. One night he hired hands to take the wheels from a
wagon that stood in the street and hang them on the limbs
of a tree in front of Meetze's store, and then charged the
act upon West Caughman and James Kennerly, two of the
most quiet and orderly old citizens in the country round.
He never saw John Bayles, the well digger, commonly
called Buckeye, without telling of his fall into Squire Fort's
Well while digging it. The well was forty or fifty feet deep
when Buckeye got into the bucket to be let down by the
windlass, and his assistant who held the handle let it slip,
precipitating bucket. Buckeye and all to the bottom, he cry-
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 119
ing out as he fell, '' Lord have mercy upon me, and that quick. ' '
While he lay there senseless. Fort descended with a rope to
bring him out, and as he tied it around Bay /es' s neck, he said :
"Ah, Buckeye, this ought to have been done twenty years
ago." Then they windlassed him up, and, taking off the
rope, laid him out on the grass, where he came to in an hour
or so. Bayles always joined in the laugh at the story, which
was true as to his fall and recovery.
Some young men of the village had been stealing chickens,
which they cooked and eat in the woods at night. Among
them was a fellow from Edgefield named Whitman, a striker
in Pardee's blacksmith shop, whom Banks disliked and
determined to run off. So he arrested Whitman and John
Drenan on a pretended warrant for petty larceny in stealing
fowls and lodged them in jail, Drenan understanding that it
was all a joke. Just before dark he had Jesse Owens to
hail the prisoners from the outside and tell them that Banks
was drunk and that he (Owens) would steal the keys and
i;elease them soon after supper, if they would be ready to
make their escape. This they agreed to do, and when Owens
appeared, pulling off their shoes, they crept silently down the
stairs, which landed in Banks's bed room, where he lay appar-
ently asleep. But just then he woke up, called on them to
stop and fired a pistol. They broke for the outer door, and,
reaching the street, made for the woods, pursued by a dozen
or more boys whooping and hallooing. Drenan soon
dropped behind and Whitman was chased quite a distance
by the boys. Next morning, report said that he had passed
Leesville in a trot, bareheaded and barefooted, but he never
returned to Lexington, and Pardee saved the week's wages
that were due him.
One story Banks repeated to all comers nearly every day for
some months. It was to the following effect : Paysinger, a
hare-lipped man in Newberry, and Jacob Bates, of Edgefield,
120 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
agreed to make an expedition on horseback to Alabama in
search for new lands. They went before a Magistrate and
made oath that, to save expenses on the trip, they would lie
in no man's house, would pay no more than 12^ cents for
ferriage, would cook their own victuals and distill their own-
whisky, carrying with them a pot for a still and a gun barrel
for the worm.
Old Mr. Dominick, a neighbor, warned them that ''they
would get drownded in swimming some of them big rivers,"
but they scouted the idea. Accordingly, setting out with a
good supply of provisions for themselves and their horses,
they proceeded to the ferry at Augusta, where twenty-five
cents each was demanded for crossing. Paysinger, who was
the leader throughout the expedition, called out " Noo mush !
Gum on. Gates," his hare-lip preventing his sounding the B,
and they rode up the river to a high, perpendicular bank,
where, adjusting their fixtures, they prepared to jump off into
the river. This was not easily done, packed up as they were
with pots, pans, bags of meat, bread and corn, and great
masses of fodder behind their saddles. When ready. Pay-
singer took a running start and sailed off into the river,
where he disappeared a little while, and arose, crying out,
*'Gumon, Gates." Bates shut his eyes, exclaimed "Oh Lord !"
and, jumping off, turned over two or three times before striking
the water, when it opened to the bottom and then closed
over him for fully five minutes, but at length his nose and
that of his horse appeared, and he followed in the wake of
Paysinger, who encouraged him with the remark: *'Mooty
deep whimmin. Gum on, Gates." On reaching the other side,
where the shore sloped gradually up, they emerged and slowly
dragged their loads out on land, like a couple of great
elephants, the water pouring and dripping from them in every
direction. Then they unloaded and made a fire, by which
they dried themselves and their appurtenances before resum-
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 131
ing their journey. In this way they carried out their agree-
ment faithfully and successfully, till on the way back, at Line
Creek, which divided Georgia from Alabama, when the pot
that had hung bottom upwards from Paysinger's saddle
unfortunately got turned right side up, filled with water, and,
sinking, dragged him down, encumbered by his fixtures, and
he was drowned. When the news came, one of Dominick's
friends called on him and asked: "Well, neighbor, wat you
dinks?" ''Somedimes I dinks one ding, somedimes anuder."
*' Paysinger is drowned." ''Well, I dold him ef he swum all
dem big rivers he'd got drownded." "Where did it hap-
pen?" "In Lyonse's Creek." "What, dat little pranch?"
" Py Cot, when she's full she's worse as a pig river." In
about these words Banks told the story, never cracking a
smile till he ended, and then breaking out into a long and
loud laugh at every repetition.
At a petty muster some young men once played a trick on
Dominick, by loading his gun with alternate layers of pow-
der and spunk — a kind of rotten wood that holds fire and
burns slowly ; then, igniting the upper layer, they started him
home alone at night, about half drunk, with the gun on his
shoulder. When he had gone a short distance the fire reached
the first charge of powder and the gun went off spang. The
old fellow said, "H'm, tam de olt kun, she neffer sarfed me
so pefore!" Soon after a second discharge followed, when
he repeated the same words in a tone of still greater surprise;
but on the third explosion, he said to the gun, "Are you goin
to haf a Krishmus in de woods?" And as another and
another took place, he finally threw her away, exclaiming,
"Ef you're goin to haf a Krishmus, you may haf it py
yuself!" On reaching home he called out to his wife, "Olt
'ooman, my kun is hafin a Krishmus in de woods !" Just then
the gun went off .f/^z;/^ again, and he said, "Dere, don't you
hear her ?" He always believed the gun had been bewitched,
or, as he called it, behexed.
132 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
A youth of the Croiit family Banks always called collards,
declaring that his name should be neither krout, cabbage,
nor kale, because he said, when dining at old Mrs. Grout's
one day, this boy kept sauntering about till ordered out, and
it then appeared he had been reconnoitering the dinner table,
as he was overheard telling the other children in an adjoin-
ing room, " De meat's all gone, but I reckon dere'll be some
Certain old topers who kept no spirits at home got dead
drunk every time they came to the village. Then, as one lay
in the street. Banks would hire some of the boys to black his
face and cover him with an empty crate loaded down with
heavy weights, which, when he woke up, prevented his escape
from the cage without help, or he would scatter corn around
the prostrate body and call the hogs to root and roll it over
Once in the street I saw a lot of hogs made drunk by eat-
ing the cherries left from a barrel of cherry bounce, and
they staggered, quarreled and fought just like so many
Banks was very successful in giving nicknames which
expressed the characters of the parties and stuck to them.
Thus, a conceited, visionary old man was "the chaff bag,"
and a stupid, blank-looking fellow he called cuffee, while
another, with a hook nose and a very harsh voice, was the
jackdaw. Lexington village he dubbed Pompey town, after
an old horse that he brought there named Pompey, and the
name adhered to the place for many years. Getting drunk
he styled fighting the Devil, and after a night's hard drink-
ing he would say, "I gave the Devil hell last night."
A local versifier, who might have been better employed,
indited the following rhymes on the village and some of its
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 123
Oh, Pompey Town, thou art a glorious place,
Replete with learning, virtue, wit and grace ;
Thy very air is something more than common —
Soft, sweet and balmy, like the kiss of woman
Great men of ancient days here live together.
Secure from all attacks of wind or weather.
Here Adamf far from Paradise doth dwell.
Who understands the game of marbles well ;
Who plays the fiddle like a man of France,
And, sooner than deny his friends, will dance ;
Here Alexander,! famed for many an action.
Who was almost as brave as General Jackson,
Remote from wars and tumults, doth reside,
To cut his neighbor's cloth his greatest pride ;
Here Amos,f once a prophet staunch and stable,
Has found the prophet's trade unprofitable.
And now is daily seen committing evil.
Telling long tales and fighting with the Devil.
fMayer. JStewart, the tailor. 1[ Banks.
LEXING TON— Coiitmued.
Queer Sayings akd Doings— Lewis Stack as a Plough House— Luke
Manning— LowRY the Surveyor- Daniel and Jeremy Wingard
AND Jesse Floyd.
Then we had other queer sayings and doings that were
often repeated and will serve in some measure to illustrate
the character of the people and their times.
Old Dave Hendrix, while more than half drunk, was found
fishing intently on dry land from the piazza of Jones's law
office, and to the question what he was doing, replied,
"Hush, 'sh, I've jist had a bight." Billy Ann, whilst lying
before the fire of a winter night, was overheard asking his
wife Betty Ann "Aint la burnin?" Brink Sellers would
124 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
never agree that his colt had died for want of breath, and
swore it was a lie, for he saw him die and the breath was the
last thing that left him. When old Mr. Lowns's mare died,
he said *'she nefer sarfed me so pefore." And old Comte,
the Frenchman, replied, when told that one of his debtors
had absconded, ''He may go to hell, but I got he note,"
seeming perfectly satisfied by the reflection. A leading
citizen on one occasion became too drunk to speak distinctly
and in the confusion of ideas said to some ladies, "You don't
understand me because I've got wool in my ears."
The German pronunciation of English words led also to
many odd double meanings. Thus, old Bowers asked Wood,
the tailor, to ''gut a goat" for him, but Wood referred him
to Eph Corley, the butcher, protesting that he had never
gutted a goat in his life. In breaking a filly to work in har-
ness, the old man said, " Efery dime she went to make a bull
she made a bitch." And Squire Addy threatened to ''but
a pullet troo" the scamp that sent him an abusive anony-
mous letter. Henry S. reported that his wife had had a
colt (cold) last week and it almost kilt her, and when I asked
his father who preached for them now, he replied "the
circus rider," meaning the rider of the Methodist circuit.
He once said that the striker in his blacksmith shop had gone
over the river to look at his wife, instead of to see or to visit her.
One of the Metzes said of an election, "It was brettydight
buUin, I dell you." Old George Wingard didn't like tobacco
that grumbled (crumbled) in his mouth. On the death of a
friend he remarked that it was not right for good men to die
while d d rascals lived out their days, and being told that
it must be right or God wouldn't allow it said with an oath:
"It may be right, but it ain't fair." The following was told of
Lewis Stack in the Fork: Having no plough horse one spring,
he proposed that his wife should hitch him in to pull the
plough while she held the lines, cautioning heragainst letting
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 125
him run away on pain of a severe switching. Accordingly,
he drew one or two furrows across the field, when, taking
fright at a stump, he broke loose, and, jumping the fence,
took to the woods, whence he returned with a hickory and
proceeded to chastise her for letting him go. I once heard
him asked if the story was true and he made no reply. One
of our most popular men when at a gathering would take
out first one friend and then another, twenty yards or more
from the crowd, and, after looking carefully in every direc-
tion to make sure that no eavesdropper was in hearing, would
ask in a low tone, "How is your family?" ''Has the drouth
hurt your crop much?" and other equally important and con-
Sixty years ago Luke Manning, (Black Luke,) a desperado
of the worst kind, was the terror of the region bordering on
Lexington, Newberry and Edgefield, where he had committed
many outrages and several murders, apparently from pure
devilment. He was a native of Newberry District, East of
and near to Saluda River, and at the risk of being tedious I
will give an account of some of his pranks. Stopping for
dinner at a house in the upper part of Lexington, where he
was unknown, he left a written notice, signed "Colonel
Blood," summoning the head of the family, who was absent,
to be and appear at Columbia on the ensuing Monday, armed
and equipped according to law, with a week's provisions,- to
suppress an outbreak of the Indians in Western Georgia,
stating that they were massacreing the whites, for whose pro-
tection the Governor had been called on to send troops from
On a freezing winter morning he was fishing for red horse
in Saluda at a place that he had baited, exactly opposite to an
old deaf neighbor of his, who, on the other side of the river,
was similarly employed. The old man had the better luck,
and, as he pulled out one fish after another, would hold it up
and call out to Luke that he ''didn't know nothin' about
fishin'." Luke determined on having fish, luck or no luck,
and, bidding his old friend good morning, he walked down
below a bend in the river where he kept a canoe, and, getting
into it, crossed over, cut down a sapling eight or ten feet
long, leaving a fork at the little end, crept up behind the
fisherman, who was seated on a steep, slippery bank, and,
waiting till he had hooked another fish, placed the forked
stick to the back of his neck, shoved him headlong into the
water, which was upwards of ten feet deep, and seizing his
string of fish carried them home, whilst the old man was left
to save himself if he could. With great difficulty he caught
to a limb and scrambled out, half drowned and half frozen,
to find his fish gone and Luke's sapling, which he had hur-
riedly dropped, in their place. This betrayed him, but
when charged with the theft and assault he insisted that the
old man had been pulled in by the fish.
While a shooting match for beef was going on one Satur-
day afternoon at the Dead Fall, a low groggery, then kept by
Colonel Drury Sawyer, on Hollow Creek, Luke rode up in a
gallop, rifle in hand, singing at the top of his voice:
" Fourteen pence in the corner of the fence,
And the Hollow Creek boys hain't got no sense."
Then, dismounting and tying his horse to a limb, he gave him
a cut, saying: "He's four years old and trots aready." He
began by treating all around, taking several chances for the
match, and proceeded to make himself at home, welcoming
one with the question : " How's your wife and my children?"
When another appeared, running and pretending to hide
behind the house, while he exclaimed: "What have I done
that the Devil's come?" Asking a third if he was always
mad when he looked ugly, and making fun at the defects or
deformities of others, particularly of Colonel Sawyer, a red-
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 127
eyed, nervous little body, who was lame from a dislocation of
the hip. As the day wore on he continued drinking, and
grew more and more contentious and disagreeable, and when
one observed that the Western clouds looked red like blood
he replied: "Wait till the shank of the evening and I'll
show you something more like blood by a jugfull, for I feel
the Devil in me as big as a meeting house." As was not
uncommon, the match was prolonged into the night, with,
fires burning at the target and the marksmen's stand. They
were drinking freely and all more or less intoxicated, when a
quarrel broke out between Manning and Sawyer, who, irri-
tated beyond measure at the repeated and unfeeling allusions
to his crippled limb, finally said to Luke : '' If I was well and
of your size, you darsent treat me so." This Luke denied,
and after some further altercation he proposed to putT them
both upon an equality by fighting a duel then and there with
their rifles, each to commence loading at the word "Go"
and to fire when he got ready, adding : "Your pally hurts
you if you back out from this offer." The other, though a
peaceable man, was as brave as Julius Csesar, and he accepted
the challenge. The bystanders meantime ceased their clatter
on other matters, and, giving their whole attention to the
two disputants, made some efforts to adjust the difficulty, but
Manning swore he had come there to kill somebody and he
would as lief it should be that lame dog as any one else.
Accordingly the light was replenished, and when the com-
batants declared themselves ready, both expert riflemen at the
word began to load, knowing that their lives depended upon
their expedition. They first poured down the charge of
powder, to be followed by the ball, which fitted the bore of
the gun exactly and required some force to push it to its place
with the ramrod. It happened that Sawyer, in his haste and
excitement, got his bullet fast soon after it entered the muzzle
and all his efforts failed to move it. To fire the gun in that
128 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
condition he knew would cause it to burst, and, while he
tugged and cursed at the ramrod, Luke, seeing his difficulty,
finished loading, and, with a whoop, screamed in a loud
voice: "Now thrapple, and, d n you, I'll send you to
hell in a minute." Then, dropping his rifle to a horizontal
position, was in the final act of priming, when one of Saw-
yer's friends, whose name was never publicly known, throw-
ing a four pound weight, struck him in the back of his head
and knocked him senseless to the ground. And thus Luke
Manning's famous duel ended in his being laid across his
horse and taken to the house of Jacob Drafts, Sr.
One night at Mr. Stewart's house, in the village, it was
reported that Luke had just committed another murder up
on Saluda. Several young men were present, and ainong
them was a land surveyor named Lowry, who had been there
about a week drinking and annoying every one by his
officious interference in their business and conversation. All
united in denouncing Manning as a ruffian and an outlaw,
whom it would be a public service to put out of the way, and
Lowry, joining in, affirmed that he would give a hundred
dollars to have such a brute hung. Some of the others had
raised the report and concocted a scheme to give Lowry a
fright. One of them soon after came into the room and
announced that Luke had just arrived and was then in the
house. Jacob Vansant, a carpenter with big black whiskers,
personating the dreaded desperado, walked in and inquired
with a tremendous oath who had been slandering his charac-
ter? All were silent, but turned towards Lowry, when Van-
sant, drawing a long knife, made at him, with the exclama-
tion, "You're the man!" Lowry broke for the street, the
whole crowd following and hallooing "Catch him!" He first
ran to Jones's office, back of the court house, praying
admittance and protection, but before the door was opened
the pursuers were too close behind, and, not seeing the gate,
he jumped the fence towards Meetze's tavern, and, while they
continued the cry just far enough in the rear to keep him at
the top of his speed, arrived there, was admitted and the door
safely locked. He thankfully acknowledged his obligations
to Meetze for saving his life, paid his tavern bill, and, order-
ing his horse to be ready at daylight next morning, never
appeared at Lexington again.
My last sight of Manning was at Lexington, on his return
from Columbia, in charge of the Sheriff of Edgefield, after
an unsuccessful effort before the Court of Appeals for a new
trial from his conviction for the murder of Foutze,
whom he had waylaid and shot while ploughing in his field.
It was a cold, drizzly day in December, and he sat shivering
and handcuffed beside the Sheriff in a little covered wagon,
wrapped in a scanty plaid cloak, looking to my eyes like a
famished wolf thirsting for blood. After a long imprison-
ment he was pardoned and went to Alabama, where report
said he was finally hanged for another murder.
Henry Hook's daughter who had been seduced by Judah
Barrett was married some years afterwards to Daniel Win-
gard, and her younger sister to Jesse Floyd. The latter was
a boat builder by trade, and he, with Daniel Wingard and
his brother Jeremy, went into the business of building and
running boats to Charleston by way of the Santee Canal.
The boats were built in pairs to match, so that after taking
two loads down they were unloaded and one put into the
other for the trip back. On one of their trips down they
reported that their boats had accidentally taken fire and been
destroyed with their loads of cotton. Suspicion was aroused
and they were accused of burning the boats after taking out
the cotton, which they hauled to the city by wagon and sold.
Jeremy was arrested in Charleston, where I saw him in jail,
and, at his request, consulted his attorney, James B. Camp-
bell, respecting his case. Daniel came home, and, learning
130 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
that the Sheriff had a warrant for him, kept out of the way
for some time, but sent word to the court house that he
would kill any officer who should attempt to capture him.
Presuming upon the Sheriff's want of energy for immunity
from arrest, and as nothing had been done in the case for
some weeks, he, as it were, in the mere spirit of bravado,
rode up one afternoon into the court house yard, where a
number of us were standing, with a double-barreled gun
across his lap. Some one told Sheriff Harmon of his pres-
ence, and the warrant was given to his Deputy, Jacob Rail,
(called gentleman Jacob to distinguish him from a namesake,)
with orders to execute it. Rail came out, walked up to Win-
gard and commanded him to surrender. He cocked and pre-
sented his gun as Rail approached, but the latter never
swerved or hesitated, and when in reach of the weapon seized
it by the barrel, and, suddenly twisting it out of VVingard's
hands, threw him to the ground on his feet, when, without a
word, he raised and aimed it at his head. Dr. Simmons
called out, "Shoot the d — n rascal!" but Rail forbore. It
was all over in less than five minutes, and Wingard was safely
lodged in jail.
L EXING TON.— Continued.
Judges and Lawyers— Judge Gantt, Judge O'Neall— Tom Hendrix
AND Isaac Vansant — Judge Butler and Barney Livingston — Old
Grig Clark — Cases in Court — Joseph Kennerly's Widow — Dun-
ning vs. Permenter, Breach of Marriage Contract— Meetze
and Singletary, Arson and Forgery.
While serving as Clerk of Court, I of course became
acquainted with the law Judges and the members of the bar
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 131
in our Circuit, which comprised the Districts of Richland,
Newberry, Orangeburg and Lexington, with some from Edge-
field who attended our Courts. The Judges were Richard
Gantt, John S. Richardson, Baylis J. Earle, Josiah J. Evans,
and part of the time J. B. O'Neall and A. P. Butler; the
Solicitors, James J. Caldwell, afterwards Chancellor, and F,
H. Elmore. Judge Gantt, with the kindest heart in the world,
always leaned to mercy's side and took the part of the
accused, insomuch that General Caldwell, while going the
Circuit with him as prosecuting attorney, used to say that he
kept a tally of the prisoners tried, where he put down all
acquittals on the Judge's side and all convictions on his own.
The Judge was, I think, the first public advocate of the
temperance cause in the State, in which he was followed and
far outdone by his enthusiastic brother O'Neall, who spoke
and wrote on the subject ably and eloquently for many years
on all occasions. Many anecdotes of Judge Gantt's eccen-
tricity were related, but no one ever doubted his charity for
all mankind and his especial sympathy for those in want or
distress. He was extremely afraid of fire, and when holding
Court in Columbia alyvays lodged on the ground floor for
easy exit in case of an alarm. Sometimes, to avoid the
apprehended danger, he stayed at the house of John Smith
at Smith's Branch. Mr. Smith was a sincere and pious
Methodist of very simple manners and appearance, but the
Judge pronounced him "a d'nd swinge cat at prayer."
Once when a clergyman passed the night at the Judge's
house, the whole household were called in for family worship,
and at the minister's request the Judge agreed to lead in
their devotions. Whilst thus engaged, a little fice dog in the
room discovered that something unusual was going on and
commenced sniffing, barking and jumping around the Judge,
w^ho endeavored by raising his voice to drown the noise made
by the dog. But it had the contrary effect, and when his
132 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
Honor could stand the annoyance no longer, he suddenly
changed his tone, and turned to a servant, saying '^ D'n that
dog, take him out," then resumed and concluded his prayer.
General O'Neall was a practicing lawyer when I went to
Lexington. He then represented Newberry in the House of
Representatives, and as Speaker was distinguished for the
rapid and correct dispatch of business, having a clear, loud
voice, a fluent delivery and quick perception, and being one
of the most rapid pensmen in the State. On the bench, he
usuall/made up his mind at the outset of a case. In sentencing
those convicted in the Court of Sessions, he threatened
them loudly and severely and then generally let them off with
a light penalty. Tom Hendrix (Hamlet) was once brought
up before him for being drunk and disturbing the Court, and
when the Judge asked him what reason he could give against
being sent to board with the Sheriff, his reply, "May it
please your Honor, he don't keep a good table," so pleased
the Judge that he was discharged. Isaac Vansant, the Sheriff,
swore that he kept a better table than Tom Hamlet ever sot
As Chief Justice, Judge O'Neall presided over the Supreme
Court for many years, and he was President of the. Greenville
and Columbia Railroad Company from the beginning to the
completion of that enterprise. He was a great and good
man, an honor to the State and District that produced him,
to whose welfare and advancement all his aims and efforts
At the close of a Term held by Judge Butler, Barney Liv-
ingston, with some others, was brought up for disturbing the
Court while drunk. The Judge lectured each of them
severely till he came to Barney, whom he dismissed with the
words, ''Oh, it's you ; you may go!" At this slight, as he
construed it, the old fellow became very indignant, and when
Court was over declared that he would have satisfaction,
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 133
when, finding that his Honor had gone up the road to Rail's,
he took after him with the purpose of calling him to account.
Once, Grig Clark, an old Revolutionary soldier, appeared
before Judge Gantt for the same offense, and in answer to the
question why he should not be punished ? accosted the Judge
as follows: "Old Buck, I font for you when you was in your
mammy's arms; I'm one of the old blue hen's chickens; I've
been where the bullets flew like hailstones." Old Grig lived
to be near eighty without ever taking a dose of medicine and
then died by a fall that disjointed his hip. He was temper-
ate at home, but would stay drunk at the village for a week
at a time, singing bawdy and patriotic songs of the olden
time, always keeping a very short pipe in his mouth, and
ready to strike the biggest man in the State if he hurrahed
for King George, as the boys sometimes did to tease him.
One of his songs commenced —
" Come all you brave Virginians, I'll have you now to know,
That to assist the Bostonians you must prepare to go ;
The King he has fell out with us, and wants to make us slaves ;
Before that we'll agree to that, we'll first use our graves.
As to our noble Governor, he's acted very mean.
He's no friend to America, it's plainly to be seen ;
I hear he's robbed the magazine of powder, and he's fled,
And if he don't return it, he'll surely lose his head."
Some cases in Court while I was Clerk deserve mention.
Joseph Kennerly, in the Fork, married a grass widow
Piatt, and after his death his heirs contested her right of
dower on the ground that Piatt was living when her marriage
with deceased took place. In reply, she averred that she
never was the lawful wife of Piatt, because at the time of her
alleged marriage to him she had a former husband alive, who
died previous to her connection with Kennerly. Her maiden
name was Stewart, and when the case came on for trial she
was the wife of a stout man named Jenkins, who looked as if
he might be her last husband.
134 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
The case of Mary Dunning against Evans Permenter, for
breach of marriage contract, was brought by Major O' Han-
Ion, but before trial he swapped it with Caldwell & Jones for
one brought by them against Wolf Hane for assault and bat-
tery. This exchange was effected, of course, by consent of
the respective plaintiffs. Mary Dunning, a tall, stoop-
shouldered Yankee old maid, who had lost about half of her
teeth, was a housekeeper for William Baughman, who took
boarders at Piatt Springs, where a flourishing academy, estab-
lished by Abram Geiger, had existed for many years. Per-
menter, the defendant, had been thrice married when the
contract was alleged to have been made and before the trial
had taken a fourth wife, who was then dead. He was bald
on the top of the head, pot-bellied and bandy-legged, with a
short, stout body, and broad patches of red whisker on each
cheek. And he seemed completely dumbfounded as Cald-
well dilated upon his power of fascinating the fair sex, styling
him a ''gallant, gay Lothario," who went about the country
engaging the affections of tender and susceptible females and
then breaking their hearts by desertion without cause. He
closed by stating that defendant had had one, two — yea,
three, four — wives, and was then ready for the fifth, and called
upon the jury to curb this raging lion, or at least draw his
teeth, by finding a heavy verdict for the plaintiff. The con-
trast between the man's appearance and Caldwell's descrip-
tion of him was striking and ludicrous beyond measure.
Judge Richardson, who presided, charged the jury strongly
against him, but they decided in his favor, and Caldwell got
no fee for his services. Major O'Hanlon obtained a verdict
of five hundred dollars damages against Hane, of which he
retained one half.
The cases of Meetze and Singletary excited great interest
in Columbia and Lexington. Jacob Meetze was keeping a
large stock of general merchandise at Dial's, corner of Main
RANDOM RECOI.LECTIONS. 135
and Camden streets, in Columbia, with an insurance for ten
thousand dollars in a Charleston company, when his store
took fire soon after closing at night and was destroyed, with
most of the goods. Jesse Drafts bought cotton at the store
and Singletary was Meetze's clerk. Soon after the fire,
Meetze, with the assistance of Drafts and Singletary, made a
claim for the amount insured and was paid in full. He then
went to Charleston, leaving Singletary in charge of his
accounts for collection. Some months later Singletary sold
at a large discount to Henry Drafts, at Lexington, (a brother
of Jesse,) a note on Meetze for two hundred dollars, payable
thirty days after date at the Commercial Bank of Columbia,
stating that he was about to depart for the far West. Henry
Drafts took the note to Columbia next day and showed it to
his brother Jesse, who pronounced it a forgery, and made
oath before a Magistrate that, from the handwriting and other
circumstances, he believed, and had good reason to believe,
the paper to be forged by Singletary. A warrant was issued,
and when the accused had been lodged in jail he sent for a
Justice of the Peace and swore that Meetze had burnt his
store and given him the note to keep the secret. On this
Meetze was arrested in Charleston, brought to Columbia and
put in the same jail with Singletary. The latter was tried at
Lexington for forgery and the former for arson at Columbia.
Colonel Elmore, the Solicitor, declined acting in either case,
because of the awkward and inconsistent position in which
he would be placed, and Singletary, with the aid of the
insurance company, employed Blanding and DeSaussure of
Columbia, with A. P. Butler of Edgefield, (afterwards Judge,)
while Meetze was represented by Colonel Gregg, Colonel
Preston and Captain Tradewell. The genuineness of
Meetze's signature to the note and the origin of the fire were
the main issues. The ability of the counsel, the conse-
quences of a conviction to their clients, which elicited unusual
136 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
efforts, and Meetze's numerous and respectable family con-
nections, all conspired to heighten the public agitation. Sin-
gletary was first tried and acquitted. Many and conflicting
witnesses were examined as to the integrity of the signature,
and while the preponderance in numbers and means of
judging were against it, the uncertainty of all testimony on
such a point was clearly shown, for very confident opinions
were expressed on both sides by men equally intelligent, con-
scientious and disinterested. In Meetze's case all depended
upon the testimony of Singletary, who testified, positively
and circumstantially, that shortly before the fire Meetze had
bought a keg of tar and placed it under the counter; that
when the alarm of fire was made the floor was found covered
with the tar, which had been poured out and ignited, making
a broad, bright blaze that soon filled the apartment and con-
sumed the building with its contents. To meet this state-
ment, the defense first proved that Singletary had been gam-
bling with Meetze's money, and once, while playing with
Frank McCully, had reached across the table and stolen the
stakes. In disproof of the story as to the origin of the fire,
a keg of tar was brought into the Court room, and all efforts
to set it on fire proved that tar cannot be made to burn until
heated to the boiling point — a fact that was not generally
known, and certainly not to Singletary, or he would have told
a different tale. The jury returned a verdict of ''not
guilty" in a very few minutes, and Singletary departed from
Columbia never to return.
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 137
Lafayette's Visit to Columbia — Death of Jefferson and Adams —
Nullification Convention — John Randolph, Henry Clay and
Thomas Ritchie— Florida War— Kibler, Sims and Petigru—
Lutheran Seminary — Dr. Hazelius.
General Lafayette visited the State in 1825, and by order
of Governor Richard I. Manning a squadron of cavalry met
him at the North Carolina line and escorted him to the capi-
tal, where a grand public dinner, in the basement of the State
House, was given in his honor, and he was quartered during
his stay with Isaac Randolph on the North side of Gervais
street, East of Main. Old Billy Miller, a true soldier in the
Revolution, who lived in the sand hills and always got drunk
when he came to Columbia, was dressed up in a decent suit,
and, among others, introduced to the General, who kindly
inquired as to the state of his health, and, being told that it
was very poor indeed, misunderstood the answer, and re-
joined : "I am very 'appy to 'ear it. Monsieur Millare."
DEATH OF JEFFERSON AND ADAMS.
On the Fourth of July, 1826, Rev. Thomas Rail officiated
at the anniversary celebration in Lexington and gave out the
very appropriate Methodist hymn beginning —
" Blow ye the trumpet blow,
The gladly solemn sound ;
Let all the nations know.
To earth's remotest bounds.
The year of jubilee is come," etc.
The almost miraculous event occurred that day of the
death of Jefferson and Adams, exactly fifty years from the
promulgation of the Declaration of Independence — the first
named being its author, and the other one of the most
decided and distinguished advocates of its adoption. The
138 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
chances were upwards of eighteen thousand to one in favor
of the death of either of them on any other day of the half
century, and that both should die then added incalculably to
the odds. In connection with Mr. Jefferson's death, his
granddaughter, Mrs. Randolph, relates the following anec-
dote: A near neighbor and great admirer of his, knowing
that he was failing rapidly, prayed that he might be spared
till the Fourth of July, and rejoiced heartily on learning that
he had crowned his earthly career by dying on that day.
When it was reported, soon after, that John Adams had also
departed on the same day, he regarded it as detracting from
the fame of the sage of Monticello and swore it was a lie.
But on the fact being established, he pronounced it a " d'nd
Yankee trick on the part of Adams."
The Nullification Convention that met at Columbia in
November, 1832, brought together as great an array of talent
and patriotism as ever was assembled in the State. James
Hamilton, Jr., then Governor, presided, and among its mem-
bers were William Harper, Robert Y. Hayne, George McDuftie,
Robert J. Turnbull, Job Johnston, F. H. Wardlaw, Armi-
stead Burt, Stephen D. Miller, John Lide Wilson, Daniel E.
Huger, John B. O'Neall, C. J. Colcock, John S. Richardson,
R. W. Barnwell, R. Barnwell Rhett, Benjamin F. Perry, ex-
Governor Richard I. Manning, and F. H. Elmore. Its pro-
ceedings were also approved by Mr. Calhoun, Colonel Preston
and Governor Hammond, the two last named attending and
taking part in the caucus discussions of the NuUifiers as to
the measures that were adopted.
These were an ordinance declaring the tariff law of July,
1832, unconstitutional, null and void, and directing and
authorizing the Legislature to provide the means for prohibit-
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 139
ing its enforcement within the State after the ist of March,
1833; at the same time announcing that South Carolina
would secede from the Union if any attempt should be
made to use force in carrying out the law, but signifying her
willingness to submit to the decision of a convention of all
the States. The General Government was then practically
out of debt, and a few years later distributed among the
several States a surplus of many millions, collected, not for
revenue, but mainly and avowedly for protection. As one
of the original framers of the Constitution which gave the
General Government all its powers and defined their limita-
tions, the State claimed the right to decide when that instru-
ment was violated, and, in case of a deliberate, palpable
and dangerous infraction thereof, to interpose, in her sover-
eign capacity, for the correction of the evil and the protection
of her citizens from its consequences, or to peaceably with-
draw from a Union that failed to observe the conditions and
subserve the purposes for which it had been created. President
Jackson, on the other hand, issued an address and proclama-
tion denying that the States ever were separate or sovereign ;
asserting the supremacy of the Federal Government, and
threatening to enforce the law by military power, if necessary;
whilst Congress enacted the Force Bill, empowering him to
coerce the State into submission. This proclamation he
afterwards authorized the Richmond Enquirer to explain,
modify or qualify so as to show that he meant not what he
had said but something different.
In response, Governor Hayne's proclamation (one of the
most eloquent and powerful State papers ever issued) defied
him to execute his threats and commanded all good citizens
to sustain the State, to whom their allegiance was due, on
pain of the penalties for treason. The condition of affairs
was for some time extremely critical. But the firm stand
taken by the State effected the passage of Mr. Clay's com-
140 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
promise Act, reducing the duties on all imports in a course
of years to the wiiforni rate of 20 per cent., which was
regarded as a fair revenue standard. Before the expiration
of the prescribed time this compromise was violated, and
the tariff question has ever since been the subject of debate
and dissension. Although the stern and irrevocable arbitra-
ment of war has since annihilated State rights and established
the paramount authority of the National Government, yet
the reports and addresses of the convention deserve the care-
ful perusal and study of young politicians, for they contain a
fund of useful and instructive information on the tariff and
on the origin and character of the General Government not
to be found elsewhere, and not inapplicable to the condition
of our country as it is now and may be in the future. They
are perfect models of a style both pure and forcible. After
all was over. Governor Hamilton declared that South Caro-
lina had come out of the contest "armed cap a pie and not
a feather quivering in her plume." On looking over a list of
the delegates, I recognize but two besides myself as surviving,
Rev. Peter J. Shand and ex-Governor B. F. Perry.
I was informed, confidentially, some years after, that
Governor Hayne had made arrangements, if a blow had been
struck at the State, to kidnap General Jackson at Washington
and bring him a prisoner to South Carolina, where he was to
be held as a hostage, in the belief that Vice-President Van
Buren had neither the nerve nor the influence to carry on a
war, and that a compromise would be made or the State be
allowed to secede peaceably.
This information I have never mentioned till now, when,
after the lapse of half a century, the Statute of Limitation
seems to warrant its publication, as showing the extremity to
which w^e were prepared to go in vindication of our rights.
Now as to other matters. The duel between Henry Clay
and John Randolph was not solely on account of Randolph's
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 141
Strictures on Clay's support of Adams for the Presidency, in
which he called it a union of the Puritan and the blackleg
and compared them to Black George and Blifil in Fielding's
novel of Tom Jones. Randolph assailed Clay's personal in-
tegrity, accusing him of trickery whilst acting as Speaker of
the House. He stated in one of his discursive harangues in
the Senate, that, on the passage of a certain bill in the House
which he had opposed, he inquired of the Speaker whether a
motion to reconsider would be in order and received the an-
swer, "Certainly, the gentleman from Virginia knows that
he has the right to make such motion ;" that it being late at
night he proposed making the motion next day. That he
learnt by some means of the Speaker's intention to send the
bill immediately to the Senate, where on the morrow the
clock was to be put forward half an hour and the Bill pre-
sented and passed before the meeting of the House, thus pre-
venting him from making the proposed motion to reconsider.
He said that early next morning he took Mr. John Gaillard,
President pro tern, of the Senate, into a Committee room,
informed him what was intended, and that they remained
there till the regular hour for the meeting of the Senate, thus
precluding Mr. Clay from making the excuse that the Senate
had acted upon the bill and the motion to reconsider came
too late. In the duel Randolph received Clay's fire, but
failed to return it, saying afterwards that he would not have
killed him for all the land upon the king of rivers. Clay's
ball passed through the skirt of his adversary's gown, and
being told by the latter that he owed him a new coat,
replied, '' I am glad that I am no deeper in your debt."
Randolph said of Thomas Ritchie, editor of the Rich-
mond Enquirer: ''He is always harping on principles; he is
a man of principles; of seven principles — five loaves and two
fishes." He sided with the NuUifiers in 1832 and 1833, and
denounced the doctrines of Mr. Jackson's proclamation, as
143 RANDOM RECOLLECTION^ S.
he called it, in scathing terms at a public meeting in Vir-
On the breaking out of the Florida War the regiment
commanded by Colonel Caughman was ordered to meet at
Williamson's to raise a company for the campaign. It was
bitter cold weather in February, 1836, the mill ponds being
frozen over. An old fellow named Clark, who was half
drunk, had charge of the house when I arrived the evening
before the parade. He walked to the door, calling Jack,
Tom, Jim and others, and when they failed to appear went
himself to the yard and brought in the wood for a blazing
fire that was soon burning on the big hearth that nearly filled
one end of the building. He continued drinking till the
morning of the third day, occasionally singing a verse or two
of a song that had been very popular during the War of 1812,
with the refrain :
"A soldier is a gentleman ;
His honor is his life,
And he that won't stand by his post
Shall ne'er lie by his wiefe —
Shall ne'er lie by his wife."
And he then joined the company on the way to Orangeburg
as a volunteer.
At night the camp fires of the militia lit up the woods in
every direction from the hill on which Williamson's house
stood. After supper, seeing there were more guests than bed
room, I asked Tommy Williamson where I was to sleep and
was pointed to a comfortable-looking bed. Soon after his
wife came in and I overheard her protesting against giving up
her bed, but he assured her that she and the children could
get along very well by the fire in the kitchen. Discovering
that her bed had been promised me, I told him that I would
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 143
lie out of doors sooner than his wife and her little ones
should be exposed to the weather, and made my way into the
middle room, where I got into a bed between two of my
acquaintances. But he soon gave his wife's bed to somebody
else, and she and her family were turned into the kitchen. A
number of old topers, who sat up all night drinking by the
fire in the big room, kept me awake most of the time. Among
them Jim Calk, from Lexington village, was just drunk enough
to be talkative. He would declare: " Now, gentlemen, listen
to me. Ef I do go, I'll kill some Indian or some, nigger or
some mean white man, just as sure as I pass this liquor from
my left hand to my right and then drink it. Ef I don't,
I wish I may be dn'ed, and that's as good as ef I had sworn
it." This he repeated many times, and next morning he was
among the first that applied to the surgeon for an exemption,
showing a scar on one of his legs, but the doctor said he saw
nothing amiss with the leg except that it wanted washing.
Just before day old Barney Livingston came in from the camp,
whooping and swearing that he was the best man on Tommy
Williamson's mill hill, and could lick any one that ever had
the measles as quick as hell could scorch a feather. The com-
pany was easily made up of volunteers and two members
offered for the Captaincy — Joe Lee and Paul Quattlebaum,
Lee offering to go if elected, and Quattlebaum declaring that
he would go, elected or not. The latter was chosen, and
they spent several months in Florida, most of the time in
a stockade at Volusia, without seeing the Indians, except
once, when they made an attack upon the post in open day,
but the coolness and courage of Captain Quattlebaum and
others, who deliberately fired their rifles at the invaders, soon
put them to flight.
Whilst living in Lexington I accidentally had something to
do on the same day with two distinguished men in Charles-
ton. On my way there for the purchase of goods I overtook
John Kibler, a merchant in upper Dutch Fork, a few miles
144 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
from the city. He was on horseback, accompanied by a
couple of wagons loaded with cotton, and we rode on to
Charleston together, where I saw him no more. But when
starting home, three or four mornings after, I met him in the
suburbs going back, and he told me that he had lost three
hundred dollars the day before. That after selling his cotton
and buying some goods, he had left Charleston with his
wagons, having the amount named above in new twenty dollar
bills of the Planters' and Mechanics' Bank, which he had put
into a pocketbook containing a number of papers. Near the
Six Mile House he had left the wagons and rode on ahead,
dismounted at the house, gone in and got a drink, then led
his horse to the middle of the road, where he took out the
pocketbook, and, seeing nothing of the wagons, remounted
and started down the road to meet them. After going some
two hundred yards he missed the pocketbook and turned to
go- where he had taken it from his pocket, when he met a
Mrs. Blackman riding in a gig driven by a negro boy. When
in speaking distance she called him by name and said : "You
are looking for your pocketbook; here it is. I found it in
the road and your papers are scattered about on the ground."
Upon his asking for the money, she replied that there was
none in it, and, handing it to him, drove on towards the
city. Mrs. Blackman was a respectable lady, whose husband
kept the Twenty-nine Mile House, a well known place of
public entertainment, where I had often stopped and been
well treated. Kibler suspected her of taking the money, and
at his request I returned with him to the city, where we
applied for a warrant to William Gilmore Simms, who was then
a young lawyer acting as a Magistrate and having an office
high up on the East side of King street. After hearing Kib-
ler's statement he gave us a note to Mr. Petigru, Attorney
General, inquiring as to his duty in the premises. We found
Mr. Petigru at his house, and he directed Simms to issue
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 145
the warrant on Kibler's making the proper affidavit. Tiiis
was done, and when we found a Constable to make the
arrest I left Kibler, not wishing to take any further part in
the matter. Mrs. Biackman was brought before the Justice,
where she stated that before finding the pocketbook two
men had crossed the road at that point. No money like
Kibler's was found in her possession, and she was of course
discharged. Kibler's neighbors said that he was in embar-
rassed circumstances and they suspected him of inventing the
story to avoid the payment of his debts. What the real facts
were I never knew, except that he was quite drunk when the
affair took place. On our way home next day, when near
Blackman's house, we discovered him and two or three others
in a yard with guns in their hands and I expected a bloody
row, but they had heard nothing from the city and were
merely preparing for a hunt, so that we passed in peace.
The establishment of the Lutheran Seminary brought Rev.
Ernest L. Hazelius from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to Lex-
ington as its President, he having presided over a similar
institution at the former place. A thoroughly educated Prus-
sian, he had all the simplicity of a child as to worldly things,
united with most open, unassuming manners and kindly
disposition. What was strange for a German, he could neither
sing nor smoke. Of all the men that I have known, but
three or four seemed to be without fault. Dr. Hazelius, West
Caughman, Rev. W. A. Gamewell and Rev. Thomas Rail, in
my judgment, came as near perfection as human nature ever
146 KANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
RETURN TO COLUMBIA.
Officers and Directors of the Commercial Bank— The Branch
Bank — New Merchants and Men of Business — The Clergy, the
College, the Academies, the Seminary — Receipts of Cotton —
Election in 1840.
Notwithstanding the kindness and favor tliat I had received
at Lexington, I resolved on returning to Columbia, as afford-
ing me a wider field and one more suited to my taste. So, on
the ist of January, 1839, I went into the Commercial Bank
as Teller, on a salary of ^1,500, leaving my family at Lexing-
ton till the next winter, and riding back and forth two or
three times every week. And I added to this income by
keeping books when not engaged in the bank, being em-
ployed among others by Mr. DuBose, State Treasurer, to
post and balance the accounts in his office, and some years
later all my spare time was occupied quite profitably in the
propagation and sale of fruit trees. Thus I kept out of debt
and increased my capital regularly, which very few salaried
officers ever do.
My removal to Columbia was against the wishes of all my
friends at Lexington, but I never had cause to regret it. The
place in the bank suited me exactly, and the horseback exer-
cise completely restored my health, which had been seriously
impaired by dyspepsia. It made me intimate and lifelong
friends among the officers, Directors and customers of the
institution, and with the exception of one of the officers I
never had a quarrel or disagreement with any of them during
my thirteen years as Teller and thirteen more as Cashier.
The officers were John A. Crawford, President; Andrew
McLauchlin, Cashier, and B. D. Boyd, Bookkeeper, with
Wm. P. Butler, who had been elected Discount Clerk when
I was made Teller. For Directors we had Andrew Wallace,
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 147
John Bryce, David Evvart, Wm. F. DeSaussiire, Wm. Law,
Richard O'Neale, Judge David Johnson, Wm. Gregg, Dr.
Thomas Wells, James L. Clark, G. T. Snowden and Alex.
Kirk, followed by Isaac S. Cohen, James S. Guignard, Rev.
Peter J. Shand, Robert Latta, John I. Gracey and others.
In the Branch Bank Colonel R. G. Goodwyn was Presi-
dent; D. J. McCord, Cashier; James L. Clark, Teller; Rev.
Robert Henry, Notary ; John Fisher, Bookkeeper, and Nat.
Ramsay, Discount Clerk.
In place of the merchants and business men that I had
known, a set of new comers were in Columbia. x\mong them
were Mr. O'Neale, Law & Ellison, Mr. Snowden, J. & R.
Caldwell, I. S. Cohen, the Cozenses, B. L. McLauchlin,
Bernard Reilly, James and Robert Cathcart, Chambers &
Campbell, Frank and John McCuUy, G. M. Thompson,
Andrew, Daniel and Matthew Crawford, A. C. Squier, the
Kennedys, Charles Neuffer, Alex. Marks, J. M. Blakeley,
Amzi Neely, Jaaies Fenton, Kinsler & McGregor, Manuel
Friday, Felix Meetze, Eaton «& Anderson, Rice Dulin, J. B.
Ulm, N. B. Hill, John H. Heise, I. D. Mordecai, O. Z.
Bates, P. H. Flanigan wjth his brothers Dick and Tom, J. S.
McMahon, John I. Gracey, John Veal, T. J. Radcliffe, Wm.
Glaze and others. Pat Flanigan once claimed kin with Judge
O'Neall, and, being asked how they were related, replied,
jocularly, that he had come within a fortnight of marrying
the Judge's niece.
Thomas Davis, the bricklayer, and Charles Beck, carpen-
ter, both made large fortunes, and John Loomis,
Wheeler and Eli Killian had started a steam mill for dressing
lumber. Nat Pope, the butcher, fed most of the people —
many of them at his own expense, as they failed to pay him
for the meat they eat.
Of the clergy, I recollect Revs. P. J. Shand, George Howe,
A. W. Leland, J. H. Thornwell, Wm. Martin, Nicholas
Talley, Father Bermingham and the O'Connells. In the
148 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
College were Messrs. R. W. Barnwell, President, Rev. Dr.
Stephen Elliott, Chaplain and Professor of the Evidences of
Christianity and Sacred Literature, while Dr. Thornwell had
the Professorship of Logic and Belles Lettres, rendered vacant
by the death of Professor Nott, which he resigned in May,
1839, to take effect at the close of the year, with a view to
accept the pastorship of the Presbyterian Church in Colum-
bia. In this charge, however, he remained but a single
twelve months, when he was recalled to the College as Chap-
lain and Professor of Sacred Literature and the Evidences of
Christianity, on the election of Dr. Elliott as Bishop of the
Diocese of Georgia. Li the medical profession Drs. H. H.
Toland and R. W. Gibbes were new comers. Dr. Marks's
Female Institute at Barhamville was in a very flourishing con-
dition, and he built, rented and sold houses on the hills
around. The Columbia Male Academy was in charge of
James M. Daniel, and the Female Academy in that of Wash-
ington Muller. The Presbyterian Seminary had been estab-
lished whilst T was at Lexington, Mr. Ewart and Mr. Beck
giving ten thousand dollars each, and Mrs. Agnes Law five
thousand towards its establishment.
Of all those above named, with the clerks- and assistants
they employed, but few remain at the end of forty five years,
the clergy showing the best record in that respect out of
their limited number — Mr. Shand and Mr. Martin being still
spared. Not a lawyer or doctor survives. The only others
that I can recall are Mr. Squier, Mr. Levy, Captain Stanley,
Mr. Agnew, Mr. Chambers, Mr. McGregor, Mr. Bates, Mr.
Pope and Mr. Blakely.
How truly may I say while walking our streets —
*' When I remember all
The friends so linked together
I've seen around me fall
Like leaves in wintry weather,
I feel like one
Who treads alone
Some banquet hall deserted."
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 149
Ainsley Hall's store and dwelling had been converted into
a hotel kept by Colonel William Rice, of Union, and after-
wards by Davis Caldwell. Mrs. Gandy had a boarding house
up town that was well patronized, and Dr. Roach had another
on Plain street, just West of Assembly. Colonel A. H.
Gladden married Mrs. Gaudy's daughter Mary.
The receipts of cotton, which reached a hundred and
twenty thousand bales one year, and the live stock from Ken-
tucky and Tennessee, made Columbia a lively place in the
winter and employed all the banking capital, amounting,
after the opening of the Exchange Bank, to two and a half
millions. The present capital employed here in banking is
less than one-tenth of that amount. I have seen Main street
so crowded with wagons from the site of the present post-
office to Butcher Town as to be almost impassable for car-
riages or gigs. Cotton Town was built up by the traffic in
that staple with large grocery, provisions and storage estab-
lishments, which did a very extensive and profitable business
till the completion of the up country railroads, contrary to our
expectations, transferred this trade from Columbia to the
towns and villages abovfe. Thus our municipal and indi-
vidual subscriptions to the stock of these roads, instead of
benefiting Columbia, deprived her for a time of the main
source of her prosperity and left her dependent upon the
immediate neighborhood for support. This result was fore-
told by but two of our citizens — John A. Crawford and
Stephen C. DeBruhl — who publicly opposed the subscrip-
tions, and the latter afterwards boasted that they were the
only sensible men in Columbia. But the spirit of progress
was abroad in the land then and all opposition to its course
Mr. DeBruhl and Dr. Fitch were next door neighbors, on
the North side of Gervais street, near Mr. Agnew's present
residence. A tree that the Doctor wanted out of the way
150 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
Stood on DeBruhl's side of the pavement, and, as they were
not on good terms, he knew it would be useless to make a
direct proposition for its removal. So he got a friend to tell
DeBruhl that Fitch threatened to indict him if he cut it
down. He immediately called one of his negroes to bring
his axe, and after the tree was laid low received the informa-
tion that, contrary to his intention, he had fulfilled his neigh-
THE ELECTION OF 1840.
This was more excited and exciting than any other that
had occurred in Richland. It turned upon the financial
policy of President Van Buren's sub-treasury scheme of
severing all connection between the Government and the
banks. After Jackson removed the public deposits from the
United States Bank, he caused them to be placed in certain
selected State banks. These, to sustain the popularity of
the President's policy, made unsafe and injudicious loans and
investments, inflating the currency so as to produce a suspen-
sion of specie payments and widespread panic throughout
the country in 1837. Van Buren then recommended the sub-
treasury and its branches, where the public funds should be
kept, while the Whig party, led by Mr. Clay, urged the
recharter of the United States Bank to manage the finances
of the Government. Mr. Calhoun had acted with the Whigs
in opposing Jackson's course as to the United States Bank
and the pet State banks, and Van Buren was so odious in
South Carolina, from the belief in his intriguing and corrupt
practices, that no measure proposed by him could get a fair
hearing. Great was the surprise, therefore, when Mr. Cal-
houn was reported as approving the sub-treasury plan, and
some of his friends called the report a slander upon his char-
acter. It proved true, however, and caused a wide division
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 151
among our politicians and people, while showing Mr. Cal-
houn's independence of opinions at home, and that he was
not a follower but a leader on great public questions.
Colonel Elmore, our Representative in Congress, after care-
fully feeling his way, concluded to follow the lead of Mr.
Calhoun; while Colonel Preston, Mr. Calhoun's colleague in
the Senate, adhered to Mr. Clay and his party. Richland
and her leading men were about equally divided: On one
side were the Elmores, F. H. and B. T. , the Taylors,
Colonels James and Maxcy Gregg, Colonel Goodwyn, Major
Stark, Dr. LaBorde, William M. Myers, W. W. Eaton, John
C. Thornton, Jesse DeBruhl and others. On the other the
Prestons and Hamptons, Colonel McCord, General Adams
and the rest of the Adamses, ex-Governor Butler, Captain
Tradewell, Mr. Boatwright, Mr. Ewart, Dr. Sill and Captain
Bookter, (Old Thermopylae.) For two or three weeks before
the election both parties assembled at beat of drum soon
after dark, and, parading Main street with great noise, were
joined by their respective followers and marched to their
headquarters— the Democrats to Coleman's Theatre, gene-
rally headed by Bill Myers; and the Whigs, under the lead
of Governor Butler, to Beckham's Carolina Hall, up stairs,
near where Palmer's tin shop now is, each party keeping its
own side of the street to prevent a collision. There they
were addressed in the most exciting and inflammatory lan-
guage, which was applauded in proportion to its bitterness.
The Democrats, to intimidate their opponents, brought from
abroad a set of roughs, low, dirty-looking ruffians, who wore
red caps and were apparently ready for any act of violence.
They also invited to their aid the passionate eloquence of
McDuffie, who made a bitter and savage personal attack on
Colonel Preston. The Whigs on their part had a grand
demonstration and barbecue in Taylor Town, where speeches
were made by Preston, Legare and Waddy Thompson. An
152 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
idea'of the existing feeling may be gathered from the fact
that when Mr. John A. Crawford proposed to Colonel Good-
wyn an arrangement or understanding for each party to go
to the polls by turns, in order to prevent an outbreak, the
Colonel rejected the proposition with the remark that the
sooner an outbreak came the better, to which Crawford
replied, " If it comes to that, you are my man." And they
were not hot-headed youths, but both beyond middle age.
The sand hill population were in all their glory. Each party
strove to secure their votes, by direct bribery and all manner
of tricks, such as making voters drunk several days before
the election and keeping them imprisoned in bull pens till
the polls were opened, when they were marched up in a body,
headed by their leaders, and closely guarded until their votes
were deposited in the ballot box. At one of their night meet-
ings in the country a number of common strumpets from the
" Holy Land" in Columbia were hired to go out and join
in the frolic. Old Joel Medlin, Charles Manning, some of
the Goingses and others made enough by the election to sup-
port their families for a year.
One night the Democrats marched down street and raised
a loud hurrah when just opposite the hall where the other
party was in session, and some one reported that they were
coming over to attack the Whigs. Governor Butler called
out in a voice of thunder, "Let's go out and meet them !"
but it proved to be a false alarm. Another night a motion
was made to invite the ladies to the Whig meetings, and
when objection was raised that the room was too small,
Colonel McCord rose, and, with a broad grin, said: "Mr.
President, I think we could squeeze the women in here."
The election passed peaceably, and resulted in the return of
Colonel James Gregg, of the Democrats, for Senator, and
the entire Whig ticket as Representatives : General Adams,
Captain Tradewell, Captain Wade and Joseph A. Black, who
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 153
received majorities of from three to thirty, out of over 1,200
votes. This election was contested, and Edmund Bellinger,
Esq., of Barnwell, Chairman of the Committee of Privileges
and Elections, to which it was referred in the House, made a
report, taking the ground that, as the ballot was intended to
be secret in this State, neither the Committee nor the Legisla-
ture had the right to go behind the returns and inquire how
any man had voted. His report, which might be profitably
read and studied by our young lawyers and politicians, was
adopted, and, consequently, the members were all seated.
But the Legislature was largely Democratic, and they brought
A. H. Pemberton from Augusta to edit a paper in support of
their views, giving the new organ the public printing, to the
exclusion of A. S. Johnston, former State Printer, who ad-
hered to the fortunes of his friend and relative. Colonel Pres-
ton. The ensuing controversy between the two editors soon
led to personalities, followed by a collision, in which John-
ston struck Pemberton with a switch or stick in Main street,
and the latter, after blustering loudly, with Bill Myers at his
back, let the insult pass. Myers was the man who did 7iot
fight a duel with Captaili Tradewell. During his adminis-
tration as Intendant, the rock drains, which have been so
serviceable in carrying off the water from our streets, were
commenced and met with great opposition from many citi-
zens, but he persisted in having them built.
Samuel Weir, a fearless, independent and bitter partisan,
also edited a Whig paper and applied very filthy and abusive
language to Pemberton. At the Presidential election of 1840,
General Harrison, the *'hard cider and log cabin " candi-
date, defeated Mr. Van Buren, and Mr. Clay was greatly
elated at the prospect of a triumphant Whig administration,
with the re-enactment of all his favorite measures; but the
death of the new President within a month left Vice-Presi-
dent Tyler at the head of the Government and a change of
154 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
The question who founded the Park having been recently
made, I addressed the following communication on the sub-
ject to The Daily Register, and now repeat it here as con-
nected with my recollections of Columbia:
The hill side above the springs that supply the city with
water, extending from Governor Taylor's (now Judge Has-
kell's) residence to and beyond Shields's foundry, was of
solid red clay, scored and scarred by a number of deep gul-
lies that made it very rough and unsightly. A. S. (Sid.)
Johnston, being in the City Council, proposed that a wide,
level road should be made around the springs some distance
above them by cutting down the hill, and that the portion
below the road should be fenced in and converted into a pub-
lic park, by planting it in grass, trees, flowers and shrubbery,
with roads or paths graded and running through it to the
several springs, which should be opened and protected by
brick or stone enclosures, having seats at various points for
the convenience of visitors, and thus making it a place of
pleasant and healthful resort — an ornament instead of a nui-
sance and an eye-sore, as it had been. This, the outline of his
plan, was adopted by the Council and a sufficient sum appro-
priated to defray the expense, Mr. Johnston directing and for
some time superintending its execution. Now, is it not
strange that the very name of one who contributed so much
to the comfort and convenience of our citizens should be mis-
spelt over the portals of the park that he established ? [The
name as painted over the gate leading into the enclosure was
S-y-dney Park, but it has since been corrected. Such is
earthly fame !]
So thoroughly was the Park known as the product of his
brain and his hands, that the Council, at the time of his
death I believe, ordered it, in his honor, to be called Sidney
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 155
A brother of General Joe Johnston, he was for some years
State Printer, editor of the Cohimbia Telescope and other
papers in Columbia, and was also the author and publisher of
a small volume entitled "The Memoirs of a Nullifier," a
very caustic and witty production.
Edward Young, a brother of Charles Young, the tragedian,
at one time kept a restaurant at one of the springs in the
Park, and the place was often used for barbecues, fireworks
and public meetings.
Algernon Sidney, whose name Mr. Johnston bore, was a
celebrated Republican writer in the seventeenth century, who
sealed his devotion to the cause of liberty with his blood,
being beheaded in the reign of Charles the Second after his
trial for treason before the infamous Chief Justice Jeffries,
who, on insufficient evidence, ordered the jury to find him
guilty and was obeyed.
It comes within my knowledge that Mr. Glaze, though not
the founder or projector of the Park, always took a deep
interest in its promotion and improvement.
Before the Park was set apart the following exciting scene
occurred in its vicinity. One summer day, three or four
little boys from up town were missing at dinner time, when
such lads are apt to be punctual. A search traced them to
the reservoir, or basin, on the hill overlooking the Park
grounds, and some one suggested that they might have got
over the wall and been drowned by falling into the water.
This was repeated to the parents of the children, among
whom were Mr. Hennies, the cooper, and old Mrs. Brown,
mother of George Brown, the stonecutter, and grandmother
of one of the boys. She received the news while at home,
''on hospitable cares intent," and, accoutred as she was, in
an old loose gown with slipshod slippers and mob cap,
"her streamers waving in the wind," set out for the place,
clapping her hands and making a loud outcry at every step.
158 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
A crowd soon collected, but the wall was ten feet high, and
while one went for a ladder to surmount it the boys appeared
emerging from a gully at a distance below. It was then
noticed, for the first time, that the children could not possi-
bly have scaled the enclosure. Mrs. Brown welcomed her
offspring with loud demonstrations of gratitude and delight.
Not so Mr. Hennies. Provoked at the waste of so much
time and trouble, he picked up a brickbat and made at his
son, threatening to kill him, and it was all the bystanders
could do to keep him from knocking out the boy's brains
because he had not drowned himself in the basin.
THE WAR WITH MEXICO.
Colonel Butler and Lieutenant-Colonel Dickerson— My Assign-
ment — Robert Latta, John A. Crawford, John Caldwell and
Henry Lyons — The Freshet of 1852 — My Election as Cashier —
The Suspension of 1857 — The College Riot.
In 1846 came the war with Mexico, and my son Henry,
excited by the speeches of some of our leading men who
spoke of ''bleaching their bones on the Rio Grande" but
took care to stay at home, volunteered for the campaign.
Ex-Governor P. M. Butler, though absent from the State at
the time, was elected Colonel of the Palmetto Regiment,
and Dickerson, of Camden, Lieutenant-Colonel, with
A. H. Gladden as Major. On their departure, late in Decem-
ber, 1846, they were addressed by Governor David Johnson.
Major N. R. Eaves, a wealthy and patriotic old bachelor of
Chester, although of small stature and beyond middle age,
bore the flag of his company and went through the campaign
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 157
unhurt; and Colonel H. I. Caughman, of Lexington, volun-
teered in the ranks as a private, receiving in the suburbs of
the Mexican capital a wound in the foot which lamed him
The survivors returned in July, 1848, under command of
Major Gladden, both Butler and Dickerson having been
killed shortly before our army entered the City of Mexico.
They were greeted with great demonstrations of joy and
gratitude in Columbia, where a grand military parade, a
torchlight procession, the universal illumination of the town
and any number of addresses were pronounced in their honor.
My son came home in safety, after participating in the cap-
ture of Vera Cruz, the march to the valley of Mexico and
the fighting around that city before its surrender. As a
singular fact, it was noticed that of the poor men from the
country, who were used to roughing it while at home, more
died in proportion to their number than of the city boys,
unaccustomed as they were to the exposure and privations of
The remains of Colonel Butler were afterwards brought
back from Mexico and received in Columbia in the presence
of a large concourse of our people, who were addressed on
the occasion by General (then Colonel) John S. Preston;
and those of Lieutenant Colonel Dickerson were honored in
like manner at Camden.
In 1848 I was forced, by the failure of a friend for whom
I had endorsed largely, to make an assignment of all my
property, which was worth about seven thousand dollars. In
this assignment I provided for the payment of my own debts
in full, and on the security liabilities in proportion to the
number of other sureties; thus, if there were but one beside
myself, to pay one-half; if two, one-third, &c.; so that if the
others paid their shares no creditor would lose by us. If my
property should prove insufficient to meet such payments I
158 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
proposed making up the deficiency out of my future earnings
and asked for no discharge till the payments were made. The
Commercial Bank, as one of the largest creditors, not only
acquiesced in the proposed arrangement, but assisted me in
carrying it out by electing my son to the office of Bookkeeper,
(just then made vacant by the death of Alexander Campbell,)
with a salary of fifteen hundred dollars. My assets falling
short, we devoted all we made for upwards of three years to
the fulfilment of the agreement. This statement is made
because it affords me the opportunity of recording my obli-
gations to John A. Crawford, John Caldwell and Robert
Latta for their aid in effecting my design. The two first
named generously offered, of their own accord, to buy in at
my sale such property as I needed, and, after paying for same,
to wait with me till I could redeem it, allowing me to keep
and use it in the meantime. Mr. Latta had not been thought
of by any of us in connection with the affair. He had retired
from active business with a large fortune, and removed from
the up country to Columbia some years previously, buying
and occupying the place now known as the Benedict Institute,
which had belonged to Major Tom Taylor. Being a Director
in the Commercial Bank, and owning one thousand shares of
its stock, he visited it nearly every day, and the officers
became very well acquainted with him. He was a tall, thin
old man, who paid very little attention to anything but his
own business, watching over it incessantly, and exacting from
his numerous tenants and other debtors the uttermost farthing
that they owed him, to such an extent that his reputation was
that of a close-fisted miser, who cared for nothing but his
own interest, and he was probably the last man that I would
have thought of going to for a favor. But his conduct in my
case proved how greatly his character was mistaken. On the
day before my sale he came to the bank, and, taking me out,
inquired if it was true that my house was to be sold on the
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 159
morrow. Receiving an answer in the affirmative, he pro-
posed, if I would let him, to buy the house and give rae my
own time to pay for it. I told him in reply that he took me
very much by surprise — that I had no claims upon him; had
not expected such an offer, and had arranged for the purchase
to be made by Crawford and Caldwell, but that I would take
him at his word, with many thanks, and leave them to buy in
my personal effects. Accordingly, when the sale took place,
he bid for my homestead as much as I thought it was worth,
and offered to go further, but I allowed it to be knocked
down to the agent of one of the Charleston creditors for three
thousand dollars. He then bought for me the house on Lady
street for about half that price. During the summer he went
to New York by way of Charleston, and on arriving there
wrote to me that whilst in Charleston he had bought my
house from the purchaser at the sale and that I should have
it back on his return. When he returned in the fall he ex-
changed the one place for the other, leaving me to pay the
lower price for the better house, and saying I should have
had my house if he had received nothing in exchange for it.
In justice to his memory*, and in gratitude for his generosity,
I could not do less than to make these facts public.
In another respect he showed an inconsistency such as I
have observed in many other persons, though perhaps not in
the same degree.
In making improvements in the grounds about his house he
consulted Mr. Crawford as to the size, form and location of
the outhouses and other appurtenances, even for the building
of a pig pen. Yet at this time he went to Charleston, and,
without asking advice from any one, made changes in his
investments to "the extent of thirty thousand dollars, thus
proving that he had confidence in his own judgment when
large amounts were involved, whilst unable to decide on the
160 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
Mr. Crawford was one of the best friends I ever had, not
only on that occasion but to the end of his life, in 1876. He
had a full share of his native Irish self-confidence, with great
decision of character, a strong will and very impulsive tem-
perament, indulging and expressing his likes and dislikes
quite freely. He was a close observer of men and things,
without much education, and rather inclined to disparage
book learning; had been well trained as a merchant and
bookkeeper, was a pretty good physician and had a decided
mechanical turn, never seeing a piece of machinery without
suggesting some change or improvement in it. As a practical
business man, his strong, clear common sense and untiring
industry enabled him to manage the bank with great success,
while securing and retaining the confidence of the Directors,
the stockholders and the community.
Mr. Caldwell, with less education and no training, gained
a large fortune and attained a place among the foremost rank
in mercantile life, being for many years a successful cotton
factor and President of the Exchange Bank and also of the
South Carolina Railroad, which, with its extended and com-
plicated interests and connections, he managed admirably.
Some months before my assignment he asked me one day how
I expected to get through- my difficulties, and when I told
him I should have nothing left he replied quietly: ''If you
need any help, call on me."
And here I must notice Captain Henry Lyons, who some
years later became a Director of the bank and was a citizen of
too much prominence to be passed over in silence. He had
been a merchant for many years, and, after marrying when on
the old bachelor's list, retired with a competency, and owned
the valuable house and lot at the Southeast corner of Bull
and Lady streets, where he lived in princely style, enjoying
the fruits of an extensive garden, orchard, vineyard and hot-
houses. A very heavy, corpulent man, with strongly marked
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 161
Jewish features, of free and easy manners and address, and
very simple and confiding disposition, he had traveled in
Southern Europe and in Cuba, knew everybody in and
about Columbia, both whites and blacks, while, with a never
failing fund of good humor, he had a good word for all he
met. He served as Mayor or Intendant more than one term,
and whilst in that office met with the following adventure:
Josh Sowden, Chief of Police, having shown him one morn-
ing a dispatch from Augusta with a notice that a noted pick-
pocket would arrive in Columbia that day, he proposed to
Colonel Maybin, one of the Aldermen, that they should take
a stroll up town and look out for the fellow, but failing to
find him they separated, and the Captain started home.
Somewhere on upper Bull street he was accosted by a well
dressed stranger with some remark on the beauty of Colum-
bia. This was taking him on his weak side and they readily
engaged in conversation while walking down till near his
home, when the gentleman, bidding him good morning, took
his course towards Main street, leaving the Captain delighted
with his companion. Some time in the course of the day he
had a call for some money, and on searching his pockets
missed the wallet in which he always carried small change.
After a thorough search it could not be found and he sup-
posed he had accidentally dropped it. But a few days after it
was found in the Presbyterian church yard near the wall
where the two had passed, but without any money, and it
then appeared that the unsuspecting Mayor had been robbed
by the very thief he was looking for.
At his suggestion an exhibition of fruit was got up in Co-
lumbia, over which he presided, and once a week in the
summer season a fine collection was exhibited in the hall above
Dr. Gibbes's printing office on Washington street, near Newn-
ham's present paint shop. He and Mayor Guignard had
each a square of four acres mostly in trees, Mr. Crawford had
162 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
two acres, and Mrs, Mayrant and myself orchards of con-
siderable size, and we also received contributions from others
in town as well as from William Summer of Pomaria, Dr.
Kirsh of Chester, Mr. Fentress, of Greensboro, N. C, and
from various other places. Our exhibitions were largely at-
tended, both by visitors and by members of the association,
who examined, tested and passed upon the comparative merits
of the specimens on hand, reporting same for premiums to
the State Fair in November, which met too late in the season
for many varieties. Thus, by showing the numbers, variety
and excellence of fruits produced in the State, a taste and
competition for their cultivation was created, which added
very much to their production. And such an institution ought
to be reorganized now, since it would promote the health,
comfort and profit of the whole community.
One morning Mr. Crawford, while taking a drive, found
at Asylum Branch a round yellow flint rock looking like
a fine plum in shape and color, but twice the size that
fruit ever gets to be. This he brought to the bank,
where as Secretary of the association I received all fruit
intended for exhibition, and with a bit of court plaster
fastened the stem from a large plum to one end of it, so that
it closely resembled that fruit. We then put it on the table
with other fruit and awaited the coming of Captain Lyons,
who upon seeing it broke into exclamations of surprise and
delight, inquiring whence it came, and what was its name,
and directing me to be particularly careful in taking its
dimensions both lengthwise and otherwise. Crawford told
him it was a new variety called the stone plum, and forbid
his handling it in any way. For a quarter of an hour he
talked of nothing else, and after scanning it from all sides
he could no longer resist the temptation to pick it up, when,
feeling how hard and heavy it was, he collapsed with a loud
and long Oh! In the weekly publication of our proceedings
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 163
we mentioned the magnificent stone plum and William Sum-
mer wrote for cuttings. The Captain was an incessant
smoker, from his uprising to his down lying, and often on
waking at night would light a cigar and puff away for an
hour or more.
He propagated the first Chinese cling peach in this coun-
try — a distinct and very choice variety, remarkable for its
size, beauty and flavor, so juicy that it ought to be eaten in a
plate or saucer. The cuttings were received from China by
A. J. Downing, a New York horticulturist and author of a
popular book on fruits. Fearing they might be killed by the
cold in that Northern region, he sent them to Captain Lyons,
who succeeded in raising the trees, from which came all
others bearing that name, and their number is legion. The
honey peach, a small almond-shaped free-stone fruit, too
sweet for ordinary taste, came at the same time and was pro-
duced in the same way.
His death was caused by excessive fat, which for some
months prevented his breathing except in an upright posi-
tion and finally obstructed the action of his heart.
Lewis Levy came in one day and told us, rather tediously,
with what care he had trimmed and pruned a newly bought
plum tree, and when Crawford inquired if he had cut it off
below where it was budded he gave him a tanyard look and
replied: "Do you think I'm a gau dam fool?" Some very
large and long green persimmons were on our table once,
when Dr. Fair seeing them picked one up and asked what it
was. Being told it was a bob-tailed banana, he stuck his
teeth into it and took a good bite, which drew his mouth
quite out of shape.
The great freshet of July, 1852, found me at Lexington,
where I had gone to attend poor Tom Caughman's funeral.
Returning on Sunday afternoon, I was greatly surprised on
reaching the top of the hill beyond the bridge to see so many
Wi KANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
people on this side of the river gazing upon the scene. On
nearing the bridge I found the water running across the road
for a distance of twenty or thirty yards, with all the low
grounds covered, and the river, an angry and tumultuous sea
of muddy water, full of logs and trash. These, as they swept
downwards, scraped the floor beneath the bridge, and, strik-
ing the upright boards that enclosed the structure on the
South side and were loose at their lower ends, would sway
them back and forth with a force that made the entire frame-
work quiver as if about to float off into the stream. The
bridge across Broad River had been swept off that morning
and rested against one of. the piers of the Columbia Bridge,
which it partially displaced. Mounted on an active little
gray mare from Hitchcock's stable, I had intended stopping
near the middle of the bridge to view the scene, but soon,
becoming aware of the danger, I gave her the reins, and she,
apparently as much scared as myself, took me over in double-
quick time. That night the water ran through the floor of
the bridge, and I was the last person that crossed till the
damaged pier was repaired some weeks after.
The Greenville Railroad bridge at Alston was also carried
away, and it led to the drowning of Colonel Wm. Spencer
Brown, Chief Engineer of the road, and a son of McCollum,
one of the employees. Brown and McCollum, with a fifteen
year old son of the latter, being at Alston, proposed going to
Columbia in a batteau, by floating and paddling in the shal-
low water that covered the low grounds and the bed of the
road on the East side of the river. Colonel Adam Summer,
who was present, endeavored to dissuade them from the dan-
gerous attempt, or at least from taking the hid with them, on
the promise of sending him to Columbia on horseback. But
as Brown was anxious to see the condition of the river at such
a time, and they were all expert swimmers, Summer's advice
was unheeded. They embarked in tolerably smooth water,
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 165
and proceeded safely a mile or two, when their boat was upset
at a distance from the land and they were all thrown out.
The boy w^as at first supported on his father's shoulders, while
Brown continued for some time in speaking distance and con-
versed with them. But they soon became separated; the
youth lost his hold and got beyond the reach of his father,
who managed to catch a limb and scramble up into a tree,
whence his cries were heard on the shore and he was saved.
His son's body was found a few miles below, but that of
Colonel Brown floated down near Columbia, where it was not
discovered till about a month later.
In this year (1852) B. D. Boyd, who had succeeded
iVndrew McLauchlin as Cashier of the bank, resigned that
office and I was elected in his place, with a salary of two
thousand dollars, which was subsequently increased to twenty-
five hundred, and, owing to the depreciation in the currency
before the end of the war, to seven thousand. The bank's
business was safe and prosperous up to the beginning of the
war in 1861, paying semi-annual dividends of eight to ten
per cent, per annum, except when prevented by the panic
and suspension of i857,xat which time about one-half of the
South Carolina banks stopped specie payment and were sus-
tained in that course for one year by the injudicious action of
the Legislature ; the other half, including the old Commer-
cial, continuing to meet all demands on presentation at a
cost of their regular profits for that period.
Our capital was eight hundred thousand dollars, with the
privilege of issuing notes to thrice that amount, but we never
could keep out as much as the capital. And to show how
business w^as conducted then, I will state that all our means
consistent with safety were actively and constantly employed.
In the fall and winter months we assisted in moving the crops
by advancing to purchasers of cotton for their drafts, gene-
rally at thirty days' date, upon Charleston factors of good
166 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
Standing, whose acceptances were met at maturity from sales
of the produce. When the winter was over we loaned freely
to approved planters on six months' time, in anticipation of
their crops. The law limited the rate of bank interest to one
per cent, for sixty days or six per cent, per annum, and we
observed it strictly.
Besides, we collected for all the Kentucky banks, which
did a very large business in lending to their drovers on their
drafts and acceptances, made payable in December and Janu-
ary at our bank, for the stock which they bought at home
and drove to South Carolina, where, on selling out, they
swept the up country clear of money to meet their obliga-
tions in our hands. These payments gave us the command of
the currency of the other banks, which we sent to Charles-
ton, where they all redeemed, for the purchase of Northern
exchange. That exchange was remitted by our agent in the
city to the Fulton Bank, New York, for our credit, and we
drew upon it to pay the Kentucky banks what we had col-
lected for them, getting the exchange at par or at a discount
and charging our Kentucky correspondents a premium.
In addition to this, we made a very advantageous arrange-
ment with the Columbus Insurance Company of Mississippi.
That State had no banks and its people were dependent upon
the issues of those in other States for a circulating medium.
The company borrowed our bills in large amounts and used
them in advancing to the neighboring planters on their crops,
taking drafts upon their factors in Mobile and New Orleans,
which were forwarded to banks in those cities for collection,
and, when accepted by the factors and endorsed by the com-
pany, were discounted and the proceeds remitted to our New
York correspondent. Thus we obtained a circulation for our
notes at a distant point, where they remained out for a long
period before their return for redemption, meantime receiving
interest upon their amount and getting Northern exchange
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 167
from the collecting banks at a considerable discount, which
we used for local demand and in payment of our Kentucky
In 1856, an outrageous riot of the students in the College
threatened the peace and safety of the place for a short time.
It originated in the arrest of one or two of their number for
drunkenness and disorderly conduct in the street at night.
When the offenders, after a stout resistance, were put in the
guard house, some of the collegians went there and in
attempting their release had a fight with the police. As I
understood, President C. F. McCay obtained their discharge
for the time, but was unable to control them further, and
next day a couple or more of them made a violent assault on
John Burdell, Chief Marshal, in the guard house yard, but
with the aid of Sonendrecker, another of the guard, they
were very roughly handled and got decidedly worsted in the
fight. Then, when they returned to the College, the boys,
in a body, some armed ^nd intoxicated, marched up to the
guard house to get satisfaction, forgetting the fact that they
had been the aggressors throughout.
The Mayor, Edward J. Arthur, seeing the hostile demon-
stration, ordered the alarm bell to be rung, and when the
citizens assembled, Jesse E. Dent, the Sheriff, summoned
them to protect the police and keep the peace. I saw
thirty or forty of them ranged, under arms, in front of the
guard house, with Sheriff Dent, who was unarmed, at their
head, while a great mass of students, within fifteen or twenty
feet, some showing guns, pistols and sticks, cursed, defied
and dared them to fire. When two or three cocked their
guns, and were about to shoot into the crowd, the Sheriff, by
his coolness, prevented a bloody outbreak, ordering them to
168 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
act on the defensive and wait till they were attacked. Mean-
while Colonel R. H. Goodwyn and Dr. Allen J. Green placed
themselves between the parties, and, at the risk of their lives,
with uplifted hands, in loud tones, earnestly adjured them to
forbear. Finally, it was said. Dr. Thornwell appeared upon
the scene, and, calling upon the boys to follow him to the
College, was obeyed. Some of them were indicted for the
riot and assault, but I believe the cases were compromised
before the Court met.
There was great dissatisfaction with the result, some insist-
ing that the disturbance should have been quelled at all
hazards, whilst others, making all due allowance for the youth
and inexperience of the students and for their false impres-
sion that, as a point of honor, they were bound to sustain
one another, right or wrong, thought that, in a case of such
open and flagrant defiance of the law, the offenders ought to
have been fined and imprisoned as were all others in like
circumstances, and that their connection with an institution
supported by the State, so far from entitling them to such
exclusive exemption from punishment, was an additional
reason for its enforcement.
THE CONFEDERATE WAR.
Passing over all intervening circumstances, I come now to
the war, which commenced with the capture of Fort Sumter
in April, 1861, and ended in the same month of the year
Early in December, i860, the Secession Convention had
met in the Baptist Church, in Columbia, but just then the
smallpox made its appearance in the city, and the Convention
adjourned to meet in Charleston, where the Ordinance of
Secession was passed on the 20th of that month.
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 169
During the war, and for some months previous to its begin-
ning, I kept a diary, in which were noted all rumors and
events of importance, but its contents are too voluminous and
its general run too well known for repetition here, though
they may be valuable and interesting for future reference.
In October, 1862, the Central Association for Relief of
South Carolina soldiers was formed in Columbia, with Dr. M.
LaBorde, President; Dr. John Fisher, Treasurer; H. C.
Bronson, Secretary; and the following other members: Rev.
Peter J. Shand, Rev. Wm. Martin, Rev. B. M. Palmer, Dr.
R. W. Gibbes, Wm. F. DeSaussure, E. L. Kerrison, John
Townsend and John A. Crawford. They met once a week,
and were generally all present. The extent and value of the
services rendered by these gentlemen have never been known,
much less appreciated. They undertook to ascertain and
supply the wants of our troops, to the extent of the means
furnished by State appropriations and private contributions,
sending their own agents to inquire what was most needed by
the different commands wherever stationed, besides purchas-
ing supplies and forwarding same, together with all articles
of food, clothing, <S>:c., fiirnished by the people at home for
their friends in the army. For this purpose they organized a
bureau under the active, efficient and untiring supervision of
Mr. Kerrison, who gave probably more in time, labor and
money to the cause than any other individual in the State.
He opened a storehouse for receiving, purchasing, keeping
and forwarding everything intended for the troops. Rev.
Mr. Martin and Mr. Leiding superintended the packing and
shipping department. Asher Palmer, W. P. Price and O. A.
Pickle were agents of transportation, with the assistance
occasionally of John Beard, Daniel Crawford, Rev. Mr.
Barnwell, until his lamented death, and others, taking charge
of goods and going with trains to their respective destina-
tions, where they were turned over to those properly author-
170 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
ized to receive and receipt for them. By these means the
safe and rapid delivery of every package, great or small, was,
as far as possible, secured and accounted for.
An immense amount of labor was also required in corres-
ponding with the Confederate and State officials, railroads,
contractors and others, and in appointing and watching over
agents, besides keeping an account of shipments and pur-
chases, as well as of all receipts and expenditures.
Mr. DeSaussure, as Chairman of a Committee, reported in
January, 1865, that the amount disbursed during the past
year amounted to ^1,192,588, to wit:
Supplies bought and forwarded by the Association — cost
Packages and boxes sent to us and forwarded to the
army — estimated value 560,000
Salaries and expenses of the Bureau and transporta-
The Committee also reported the following resolution,
which was adopted :
"The laborious, efficient and indefatigable services ren-
dered by Mr. Kerrison and Mr. Leiding to the cause of the
army and the country, most generously without compensa-
tion, except the satisfaction derived from the discharge of
this important trust, does not require comment. They will
have their reward in the earnest approval of a grateful coun-
Mr. Leiding refused the salary that was offered him. Mr.
Martin being without other means of support received a
moderate compensation, and the rest of the Board got no
KANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 171
Hon. Joseph Daniel Pope during the war was Chief Collec-
tor of the Confederate taxes and head of the Bureau for the
printing of the Confederate Treasury notes and bonds. Most
of the men being in the war, the Government employed females
for the preparation of the Confederate notes in Columbia,
and a large number of most respectable ladies from Virginia
to Texas, who had lost their fortunes by the war, made a
decent support in this way. About a hundred of them, with
fifty men, under his supervision, handled, counted, signed and
put up in packages the entire issues of the Government, aggre-
gating some thousand million of dollars in amount, three
large printing establishments being employed in the depart-
ments of printing, engraving, &c. This, of course, involved
immense care, time and labor. But, to the honor of all con-
cerned, not a dollar was lost, stolen or embezzled, and Mr.
Pope turned over to W. Y. Leitch, Assistant Treasurer, the
entire and exact sum that had been entrusted to him. In the
collection of the Confederate taxes, he also appointed about
an equal number of assistants or sub-collectors throughout
the State, who received from the citizens their respective
quotas in money and in kind. This, too, was accounted for
to the last cent, and Mr. Pope's record as an able, honest,
industrious and most efficient officer stands without a blot.
At the death of Mr. Bronson in May, 1863, I was elected
to his place in the Relief Association, and as its Secretary,
and its minutes to the end of the war are in my possession.
By request of the Board I visited our troops in Virginia
in November, 1862, going by railroad to Richmond and
Staunton, and thence to Winchester in the stage, having
obtained in Richmond from Mr. Randolph, Secretary o
War, a passport, with orders for transportation wherever
I wanted to go. The fertile region of the Shenandoah
Valley was then a scene of utter desolation for many miles,
not a building, fence or even gate-post being left, except
172 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
a few stone barns, whose outside walls withstood all efforts
for their destruction. General Longstreet's command
marched through Winchester the morning of my arrival,
returning from the Maryland campaign, after the battle
of Sharpsburg, and I there met with Colonel Wm. Wal-
lace, Colonel Joe Gist and other acquaintances from South
Carolina. At the Ballard House, where I stopped in Rich-
mond, General Bragg, just from a successful campaign in
Tennessee, received great attention, and at another hotel I
met General Loring, who had lost an arm in the Mexican
After waiting a day or two at Winchester for transporta-
tion to General Gregg's headquarters, near Berryville, I walked
out one evening to the toll gate on the turnpike in that direc-
tion and was taken up in his buggy by Judge Camden of
Rockbridge County, who was going to see a son in the army.
We traveled to a late hour, seeking lodgings, which were
refused us, at several places, although we offered to pay our
way, the occupants seeming afraid to entertain strangers, lest
they might be considered as adhering to one side or the other,
that region being then held alternately by the Federal and
Confederate forces. I spent one day and night with General
Gregg, seeing General A. P. Hill, the Haskells, Colonels
McCorkle, Hamilton, Simpson and Perrin, Captain Hunt of
Edwards's regiment, and other officers, and also many
privates of my acquaintance from South Carolina, and dining
with a Lexington company on a choice leg of mutton, nice
biscuits and a cup of buttermilk. Next morning the owner
of the land occupied by the camp reported to General Gregg
that two of his best Merino sheep were missing, and I then
suspected from what quarter my dinner of mutton had come,
but said nothing. General Gregg told me that whilst he and
General Hill were on their way from Harper's Ferry to Sharps-
burg, while the battle was going on, they met and passed
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 173
enough stragglers from our army to have gained us the vic-
tory if they had been in the fight. General Hill took their
swords from several officers and broke them in their presence,
whilst reprimanding them severely. They were seeking food
and not exemption from danger. And thus for want of disci-
pline and supplies we lost the chance of probably ending the
war by a successful march on Philadelphia or Washington, as
just then Louis Napoleon was urging on Great Britain the
joint interference and mediation of France and England in
behalf of peace and the recognition of our independence.
On Sunday I met Stonewall Jackson returning from church
at Berryville. Some cavalry passed through the village the
night before, and that morning Ewell's Division went down
the road towards Ashby's Gap, with their baggage train, in
which I counted three hundred and fifty heavily loaded
wagons and one hundred and five belonging to Stonewall
Jackson's Brigade — many more than I had previously thought
Returning from Winchester by way of Staunton, I arrived
at Culpeper Court House in a furious snow storm. There
General Kershaw, General Jenkins and General Anderson
furnished me such information as I desired. A few miles
below, at the camp of General Hood's command, I met Cap-
tain Bachman with his artillery and. that of Captain Garden
from Sumter. In Winchester and Richmond I wrote to the
commanders of such corps as could not be reached, directing
them how and where to apply for such supplies as they needed.
THE BURNING OF COLUMBIA.
The burning of Columbia on the night of Friday, February
17th, 1865, deserves particular notice, and I therefore quote
from memory and from my diary the facts connected there-
with as they came to my knowledge:
174 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
Sitnday. Februaj-y 12. — Fearing the city might fall into the
enemy's hands, we this day sent a load of books and valua-
bles belonging to the Commercial Bank by W. W. Renwick's
wagon to his residence in Union District, between Enoree,
Tyger and Broad Rivers, for safe-keeping. We were roused
at an early hour by the firing of cannon on Arsenal Hill as a
signal for the reserved and detailed force to assemble. My
son Henry, Bookkeeper of the Bank, was to have gone with
the wagon, but being one of the reserves he refused to leave
town, his Captain (Robertson) having notified him to be
ready at a moment's warning to go to the front. Mr. Craw-
ford, President, therefore followed the wagon in his buggy.
The weather was terribly cold. I went to the Methodist
Church and sat for the first and last time in the pew I had
selected the day before, hearing an excellent sermon from
Rev. Mr. Conner, our stationed preacher for that year. Dar-
ing the day Colonel J. P. Thomas's regiment of reserves
paraded one or two hundred strong and were reviewed by
Governor Magrath. S. W. Capers shut up the Express office
and went into the ranks.
Monday, ijth. — Mr. S. O. Talley, our Teller, being noti-
fied by Captain Robertson of orders to march, left the bank,
as did also my son Henry when so informed. I was alone
in the bank, but heard that Mr. Crawford had got back after
seeing the wagon beyond Spring Hill.
Tuesday, 14th. — Busy all day with Mr. Crawford preparing
to close the bank. Heavy firing heard in afternoon about
Congaree Creek, with rumors that Orangeburg was taken.
About dusk the alarm bell rang, and Mr. Crawford went
home, leaving me to send books to his house and carry a few
things home; packed them up hastily, and inquiring in the
street what the alarm bell meant, heard that Saluda Factory
was burnt, and could see fire in that direction.
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 175
Wednesday, i^th. — Went to Charleston depot to get car to
go to Manchester for corn from Governor Manning, but Bol-
lin refused to furnish it and said the railroad bridge below
was burnt. Ex-Governor John L. Manning had for several
years generously supplied the officers of our bank with pro-
visions at greatly reduced prices, and sometimes gratis.
Hampton reported the Yankees within six miles last night.
Fighting heard all day, and coming nearer, but it ceased
about 5 o'clock P. M. General Beauregard arrived to-night
and expects some of Hardee's army before day. Cheatham's,
from Augusta, are reported coming; some say already here.
Thursday, i6th. — Wheeler's men burnt Saluda Bridge last
night; they have been robbing our stores to-day, and several
were broken open by them last night. A number of troops
arrived last night from Wilmington. The city has been
shelled from across the river nearly all day and part of yes-
terday. Mayor Goodwyn says Beauregard tells him he can
hold the place but two or three days longer, as Hardee refuses
to evacuate Charleston. The confusion and excitement of
removing Government stores and treasure and private families
is beyond parallel.
Friday, lyth. — Woke by a terrific explosion, shaking the
whole town as by an earthquake. The storehouse of the
South Carolina Railroad was blown up, accidentally or other-
wise. At daylight Henry tells me that Mayor Goodwyn
informed him of his intention to surrender forthwith, having
white flag ready. Going to bank, delivered some packages
to their owners and put others in vault; then for the last time
locked it up. Heard that the Mayor was gone to surrender,
and while at Henry's, over the bank, Mrs. Rawls came in say-
ing Yankees were at her house near the river. Rapid firing
continued all the morning towards Broad River Bridge, the
Columbia Bridge having been burnt last night. Early this
morning General Hampton had threatened to shoot any one
1T6 EANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
who offered to raise the white flag, but about 9 o'clock he
directed Mayor Goodwyn to surrender, and before 10 a com-
pany of Wheeler's cavalry passed down Main street ordering
all soldiers to leave it as the enemy were coming in. About
that hour a carriage displaying the United States flag, with an
officer or two and the Mayor, drove rapidly down to the
Market, where I went and saw Colonel Stone, who had received
the surrender, with Aldermen McKenzie, Bates and a few
citizens. Mr. McKenzie informed me that the surrender was
unconditional, and I then asked the Colonel: "Will private
property be respected in the city?" He seemed indignant at
the question, and replied: "Private property will be re-
spected ; we are not savages. If you let us alone, we will let
you alone." He was a handsome young officer, Avho looked
and spoke like a gentleman, and I believed him. These
assurances he repeated to others in my presence. I thanked
him, and, returning to the bank, informed Henry's wife that
I thought she could remain there in safety till evening, when
I would take her to my house. As the carriage passed she
became frantic with excitement, and declared her purpose to
wave a Confederate banner from the window, which I pre-
vented her from trying to do. On my way home I saw some
of the first troops that marched in leave their ranks and break
open Mordecai's and Heise's liquor shops with axes. While
I was stopping at the engine house, next above the Market,
one of them came across the street, followed by a negro, and
demanded admittance into J. C. Walker's store, whereupon
Walker handed him the key of the front door, and he and
the negro went in. Just then some of them were trying to
force the front door of James G. Gibbes's store, where
McKenzie's confectionery now is, and in a minute or two
the side door, next the Court House, was broken open and
the negroes and soldiers streamed in and helped themselves.
I then went home, seeing piles of cotton bales on fire in the
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 177
middle of Main street South of Washington street. Half an
hour later I was told that a soldier was in my kitchen, in the
basement of the dwelling, ransacking it. Going down to
the door I demanded to know what he was doing there. He
came up to me and replied that he was foraging. I asked for
his authority, and another who was with him presented his
musket, saying that was his authority. I then told them that
Colonel Stone had assured me private property would be pro-
tected, and that they were acting contrary to the orders of
their officers, and one of them replied that they didn't care
a d'n for the officers but would have what they wanted.
They then said if I would go up stairs they would stay below.
I did so, and, telling my wife and daughter what they said, I
went to Main street for a guard. On the way, Dr. Boatwright
told me that Colonel Nichols, at the Market, had given him a
guard, and when I applied to that officer; apprising him of
what was going on at my house, he called a soldier named
Ruble and bid him go with me and turn the fellows out at
the point of the bayonet. Returning with Ruble I was told
one of them had been up stairs, searching all the rooms, and
had taken my gun. I then went down where they were with
the guard, and found they had been in the store room and
taken meat and flour which was loaded on one of my ponies.
They refused to leave the place, and as they were two to the
guard's one and as well armed as he was, he was powerless.
Seeing that they were drinking and becoming more violent,
I went back to the street for another guard, and with great
difficulty, after applying to several officers, found one at
Janney's corner, who sent a young man with me named
Turner. Turner declared that the other guard knew not his
duty or he would have driven the ruffians out. When we
returned they were gone with the ponies, meat, flour and
some articles of little value from up stairs. While going down
Main street to Janney's, towards 12 o'clock. General Sher-
178 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
man and bis staff rode up. The soldiers were then breaking
open and robbing the stores within his sight and hearing.
After dinner I went back to the bank with a negro to bring
some of Henry's things to my house. Large bodies of troops
were marching down Main street, and a soldier with several
negroes was in Henry's rooms. Left them to get a guard for
the place, and, meeting Mr. Dovilliers, heard that Major
Jenkins, at Nickerson's Hotel, was Provost Marshal for plac-
ing guards. The street and pavements were crowded with
drunken soldiers, rioting, plundering, throwing out goods
from the stores, scrambling for them and making a perfect
Pandemonium. They were as closely packed as beeves in a
pen, and to reach Nickerson's we had to take a cross street
and go round the square. The bar room of the hotel
was filled with anxious crowds praying for guards, among
whom I recollect seeing old Mr. Alfred Huger and Mrs.
Dr. John Fisher. After waiting till near night I got
speech of Major Jenkins and stated the condition of
things at the bank — females occupying the rooms over-
head and vaults filled from floor to ceiling with valuable
property of private citizens — begging him to send guards
for their protection. He replied: "I cannot under-
take to protect private property." In the course of the
afternoon I had met Colonel Stone and asked for a guard, but
he turned off, saying he had no time to attend to me, though
he was standing idle in the Market place. Returned to bank
and took Henry's wife to my house. Ordered an early supper;
and told all to go to bed. Then went down stairs to see
Turner, the guard, and found two white men with him, who
he said were officers that had just been released from impris-
onment here. Begged him to turn them out, shut the doors
and go to sleep, for I feared the house would be burnt before
morning, as the streets were so full of drunken, disorderly
negroes and soldiers, breaking open stores and committing
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 179
Other outrages that I could hardly get back to the bank.
Up stairs sat half an hour with the other guard and saw the
light of a fire in the direction of Charleston depot, on Bridge
street. Hampton's house, on Camden road, and Arthur's,
in the suburbs, were burnt before night. Just after dark
Puryear's, at race track, and Dr. John Wallace's were on fire.
Charlotte Railroad track, in sight from my back door, was
also burning. Went to bed with clothes on, and about lo
o'clock heard fowls in the yard squalling and men catching
them. The light of the fire grew brighter towards Main
street, and after getting up two or three times to look at it
had gone to sleep, when at 2 o'clock my old negro. Quash,
woke me at the back door, saying Mrs. Zimmerman, next
door, was moving out her furniture and I must get up, as the
orders were to burn every house. All rose, and, by my direc-
tions, put on all the clothes they could and made bundles of
what they could carry. A drunken officer with two soldiers,
his sword and spurs clanking at every step, soon after came in
at front gate and demanded to know what was in the house.
I told him the usual furniture. He wished to see and
stamped through the passage in the dark to the head of the
inside steps, where, when I opened the door, he stumbled
from top to bottom and I saw him no more. One of his pri-
vates said they were ordered to remove all combustibles that
would blow up the house and I gave him what powder I had.
The fire by this time was raging and roaring furiously, extend-
ing gradually further up Main street, the wind veering from
Southwest to Northwest and blowing a perfect gale. On Wash-
ington street all the buildings on both sides had been consumed
except the Female College, as far as the West side of Bull
street, where Mrs. Thompson's and Mrs. Kelly's were then
burning, and the squares in front of me were threatened.
The wind at length became so high and the fires in front and
on our right hand so near and so threatening that we all con-
180 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
eluded our dwelling must go, and, gathering what we could
carry, left it in a body, intending to try and get to L. F.
Hopson's, East end of Camden street. My wife was quite
sick and weak, but we reached Mr. Hopson's all tired out and
were readily allowed house room. By his advice I went over
to Mrs. English's, where he said a Major had promised
safety to its inmates. Found there Joseph Cooper, Mrs.
Kennerly and some others, but could not see the Major.
Returned to Hopson's, and, leaving my family, went back
home, where my faithful guard still stood at the front door,
as I had requested him to do.
The streets, lit up as bright as day, were occupied by men,
women and children, standing or sitting by such household
goods, furniture, clothing and bedding, as they had saved from
their burning houses. The \vind showed no sign of abating,
but it gradually changed and came from the Northeast, blow-
ing back upon the fire and saving my premises. Went to Mr.
Dovilliers' and helped his wife put two or three big pictures
in frames on her head, which she carried over to my house,
and thence beyond the Female College, where her husband
and his mother were in the street. Whilst there Pelham's
house, just opposite, took fire, and with Dr. Wm. Reynolds,
Jr., I carried water from Dovilliers' well to put it out. Mike
Brennan, in Pelham's door, called on three or four soldiers in
the street to assist in saving the building, but one of them
said, ''d — n the house, let it burn!" and they did nothing.
It burnt, and Sam Muldrow's next door. There the fire
stopped in our street. On the way to Dovilliers' I met a
Yankee soldier, who accosted me with the question, " Well,
old man, what do you think of the Yankees now?" I replied,
"I think they have done their work pretty thoroughly this
time," and he rejoined, with an oath, "Yes, if you want a
job well done put a Yankee at it!" Going back to Hop-
son's, about daylight, I took my wife and daughter to the
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 181
front gate of R. M. Johnson's^ house, where we met Caleb
BoLiknight, who then occupied the place — at present the
Benedict Institute. Leaving them with him, I came back
home. Thus passed a night of horrors such as this genera-
tion has not witnessed. Our streets and vacant lots were full
of homeless families, with a few articles saved from the flames,
many having nothing but the clothes they wore, for when
bringing bedding, provisions or raiment out of their dwell-
ings they were plundered or destroyed by the brutal soldiers,
who jeered and exulted in their fiendish work. The Metho-
dist Church, on Washington street, was set on fire three times
before its destruction was completed, Mr. Conner, the
clergyman in charge, who lived in the parsonage adjoining,
having twice put out the fire. When they burnt the parson-
age he brought out a sick child wrapped in a blanket, and on
one of the soldiers seizing the blanket he begged that it
might be spared because of the child's sickness. The brute
tore it off and threw it into the flames, saying, " D — n you,
if you say a word I'll throw the child after it !"
The fruits of more than a half century's cares and labors
were thus destroyed in a single night, and where at sunset on
the 17th stood one of the fairest cities on the continent, by
daylight the next morning nothing remained but heaps of
smoking ruins, with here and there a solitary chimney to
mark where the houses had been. Every building but one —
and that a little one — on both sides of Main street for a mile
in length above the State House was reduced to ashes, and a
great number on other streets, especially on the East side, for
three or more squares, were in the same condition.
The Phoenix soon after the fire contained a publication by
Wm. Gilmore Simms, in which he estimated the aggregate
losses as covering 84 out of 124 squares, including the old
State House, 6 churches, 11 banking establishments, besides
railroad depots, schools, shops and stores, with the names of
182 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
445 merchants and tradesmen burned out on Main street and
1,200 watches taken from private individuals.
Saturday, i8th. — Early this morning, my family having
returned, Wm. Harth and his wife, with two children, a
niece and a couple of negroes, walked in and helped for three
weeks to consume the scanty supply of eatables that I had
saved. They had spent a part of the night in an open lot,
after the burning of M. A. Shelton's house, where they had
taken refuge with two wagon loads of provisions and their
carriage and horses, coming from lower Lexington to Colum-
bia for safety. Nearly all they brought is burnt.
Great alarm prevails lest the remainder of the city shall
be consumed to-night, as the soldiers threaten will be done.
As some of them marched up Pickens street this morning,
they cried out in front of my door, "This house shall go
At 2 o'clock I called at General Wood's headquarters in
William. A. Harris's house on Gervais street for a guard, and
was told that one would be placed at every door within two
hours, but that time expired and no guard came. Near
night, Henry's wife and Miss Gardner went to the General
and he promised to send us sufficient protection in an hour,
but it was not done. William Harth's guard, a Mr. Burgess,
and another came, however, and stayed with my faithful
watch. Ruble. I lay on a sofa in the front room with a pistol
in my pocket that night, and several subsequently, but all was
as quiet as the grave.
Sunday, February igth — This morning, as Mayor Good-
wyn was passing my gate, I met him, and proposed that we,
with a few other citizens, should apply to General Wood or
Howard for the means of feeding and protecting our people
till supplies could be received from abroad. He agreed, and
on the way we gathered Revs. Nicholas Talley, Thomas
Raysor and Mr. Conner, also Dr. C. H. Miot and Messrs.
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 183
J. J. McCarter, the bookseller, and W. M. Martin, of Charles-
ton, the broker. Dr. Goodwyn, the Mayor, proposed that
he should act as our spokesman, as his office and his acquaint-
ance with the officers would add weight to our petition, and
we made no objection. General Wood, after hearing the
Mayor, refused his request, saying it was unreasonable and
unprecedented, but he referred us to General Howard, who
he said was officer of the day. Him we found encamped in
rear of the College, near W. H. Gibbes's present residence.
He also objected to the application, but proposed going with
us to General Sherman, and we all proceeded to Blanton
Duncan's house, on Gervais street, where the Commander-in-
Chief was quartered. He received us very courteously in-
deed, seeming to be on particularly good terms with himself,
showing by the way he pulled down his vest and looked at
himself, and by every other indication of manner and tone,
his supreme pride and gratification at his success. No pea-
cock ever manifested more vanity and delight than he did,
when, addressing us, he said : ''Gentlemen, what can I do for
you ? You ought to be at church ; I myself thought of going
to hear Mr. Shand." «Mr. Talley replied: ''Ah, General,
our church is burnt." He then invited us all to take seats,
and Mayor Goodwyn stated our condition, with twenty thou-
sand old men, women and children, having no provisions or
•means of defense against the disorderly soldiers and negroes,
and requested a supply of arms and ammunition, with food
enough to keep us alive till we could communicate with the
General Sherman replied in a long lecture or harangue on
our folly in beginning the war, the subject of slavery, the
mismanagement of Beauregard, the condition of Georgia,
&c., &c. The fire, he admitted, was caused by his troops,
saying: "It is true our men have burnt Columbia, but it was
your fault." And when Dr. Goodwyn inquired, " How so,
184 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
General?" he replied that our people had made his soldiers
drunk, citing an instance of a druggist who he was told
brought out a pail of whisky to them. Dr. Miot here inter-
rupted him to remark that he was a druggist, but he had
heard of no such case. Mr. McCarter also stated that a
soldier had demanded his watch, while pointing a pistol at
his head, but the General only laughed and told him that he
ought to have resisted. He concluded by consenting to
leave us 500 head of beef cattle, 100 muskets and ammuni-
tion, all the salt at the Charleston Railroad depot, and wire
enough to work a flat across the river. He also promised
that his Surgeon General should turn over to us some medi-
cine for the use of the sick in our midst. This, he said, was
contrary to usage, but I thought his treatment of Columbia
liable to the s-ame remark. Some of us went to the depot,
where we found 60 or 80 tierces of salt, which General
Howard agreed to haul to the new State House for us. While
on the way we saw the gas works on fire.
General Sherman, in his discourse to us, never named nor
alluded to General Hampton or the burning of the cotton as
causing the fire. Yet in his official report, which was prob-
ably made the same day, he charged it to Hampton,
acknowledging, as it seems to me, that he knew the charge
to be false at the time. I quote his own words : "In my
official report of this conflagration I distinctly charged it to
General Wade Hampton, and confess I did so pointedly to
shake the faith of his people in him, for he was in my
opinion a braggart and professed to be the special champion
of South Carolina." [See Sherman's Memoirs, Vol. H,
Surely any comment on this precious confession would be
superfluous, since it discloses, in a single sentence, the char-
acter of its author and the length to which he will go in deal-
ing with an opponent.
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 185
In his Memoirs he says further: ''Many of the people
thought the fire was deliberately planned and executed. This
is not true. It was accidental, and, in my judgment, began
with the cotton which General Hampton's men had set fire to
on leaving the city."
Thus it appears that he gave three different versions of the
origin of the fire, each one varying from and inconsistent
with the other two, to wit: First, that it was caused by his
men; second, by General Hampton; and third, by accident.
Which, if either, is to be believed?
I have no hesitation in saying the first, for the following,
among other reasons :
1. Because he knew, and he said so voluntarily on the
second day after it occurred, while it was fresh in his mind, in
the presence of our citizens named above and a half dozen or
so of his own officers of the highest rank, who knew the
facts, and who by their silence acquiesced in and endorsed
its correct^iess, since they would hardly have allowed so grave
a charge against their men to pass without a contradiction if
they had known it to be untrue.
2. On page 288 of xhis Memoirs occurs this passage:
"Having utterly ruined Columbia, the right wing took up its
march Northward," &c.
3. General Howard, while in Columbia in 1867, called on
Governor Orr at his office, above stairs in the Branch Bank
building, my bank and broker's office being on the first floor.
There he met, besides Governor Orr, General Hampton,
General John S. Preston, James G. Gibbes and F. G. de Fon-
taine. General Hampton came down from the Executive
office to mine and said to me: "I have just left General
Howard up stairs, and was greatly pleased to hear him say, in
conversing upon the burning of this place: 'It is useless to
deny that our troops burnt Columbia, for I saw them in the
act.' " I understand General Howard made a similar state-
ment to Colonel L. D. Chi Ids the same day.
186 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
James G. Gibbes says: ''I was present in the office of
Governor Orr some time in 1867, when General Howard,
then visiting Columbia, was there. When General Hampton
entered. Governor Orr introduced him to General Howard.
The first thing General Hampton said was, ' General Howard,
who burned Columbia?' General Howard laughed and said,
'Why, General, of course we did.' But afterward qualified
it by saying, ' Do not understand me to say that it was done
by orders.' "
Rev. Peter J. Shand reports that General Howard told
him in Charleston, in November, 1865: " Though General
Sherman did not order the burning of the town, yet some-
how or other the men had taken up the idea that if they de-
stroyed the capital of South Carolina it would be peculiarly
gratifying to General Sherman."
General Howard is said to have denied all this on oath in
some trial at Washington, probably before the Mixed Com-
mission on British Cotton Claims. But General Sherman was
there at the time, and that fact, with the difference in latitude,
may account for his making one statement in Columbia and
another entirely different at Washington, forgetting at one
place what he remembered at another.
4. I have mingled with the people of Columbia ever since
the fire, except when occasionally absent for a short time, and
have conversed on the subject with all classes, old and young,
rich and poor, male and female, white and colored, and
among them all have never heard it attributed to any other
cause, many giving instances of the troops carrying from
house to house balls of rags or cotton saturated with spirits of
turpentine, and calling on the inmates to come out, when
they set fire to the buildings and robbed them of their con-
5. Because these same troops burnt Orangeburg, Blackville,
Lexington, Winnsboro, Camden and Cheraw, besides hun-
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 187
dreds of private residences in the country. Colonel Stone,
who received the surrender of Columbia, published a state-
ment, some years ago, describing the destruction of dwellings
and desolation of the country wherever their army marched
throughout the State. And there is no pretense that any of
these were accidental or caused by burning cotton.
Then, as to Hampton's causing the fire, Sherman's own
confession puts the innocence of the former beyond doubt.
In f:ivor of the accidental burning, he dismisses the subject
by saying in his Memoirs, page 287 : ''This whole subject has
since been thoroughly and judicially investigated, in some
cotton cases, by the Mixed Commission of American and
British Claims, under the treaty of Washington, which Com-
mission failed to find a verdict in favor of the English claim-
ants, and thereby settled the fact that the destruction of prop-
erty in Columbia, during that night, did not result from the
acts of the General Government of the United States — that
is to say, from my army."
Unfortunately for General Sherman, that verdict settled
nothing but the British claims in the cotton cases then tried,
and, as I hope to show, dt was founded on defective and in-
correct testimony. The higher claims of truth, justice and
humanity were neither considered nor settled by it. These
concerned the citizens of Columbia and involved interests
infinitely superior, in character and extent, to the value of all
the cotton. They could not be settled by a mere inference
or implication on a side issue in a case between entirely dif-
ferent parties, tried by a tribunal created for a different and
distinct purpose. I understand the issue before the Commis-
sion was whether the Government had taken cotton belong-
ing to British claimants, and was decided in the negative,
because the cotton was burnt and therefore could not have
been taken. Who burnt the town was another question, into
which the Commission had no right to inquire and did not
388 EANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
enter. To pass upon it a Court or Commission should
have met in Cohnnbia, where the transaction occurred and the
facts were best known, instead of at Washington, five hun-
dred miles distant, under the influence of the United States
Government and of General Sherman. To give some idea
of the evidence that would have been submitted in that case,
and how it was procured, I will state that when Sherman's
charge against Hampton became known in Columbia, a pub-
lic meeting was held to provide for collecting the testimony
in relation to the destruction of the city, and that Chancellor
J. P. Carroll, lately deceased, as Chairman of a Committee
appointed for that purpose, received more than sixty deposi-
tions and statements in writing from as many individuals. I
quote from his report an outline of its contents. This report,
I understand, is to be published in full by Chancellor Car-
"The array of witnesses is impressive, not merely because
of their number, but for the high tone and elevated character
of some, the unpretending and sterling probity of others, and
the general intelligence and worth of all. The plain and
unvarnished narrative subjoined is taken from the testimony
referred to, solely and exclusively, except so much as refers
to certain declarations of General Sherman and the forces
under his command, t- ^ ^^ xhe soldiers were universal
in their threats; they seemed to gloat over the distress that
would accrue from their march in the State. General Sher-
man himself said to a lady of his acquaintance : ' Go off the
line of the railroad. I will not answer for the consequences
where the army passes.'
''Extracts from his address at Salem, Illinois, in July, 1865 :
' I resolved in a moment to give up the game of guarding
their cities and to destroy their cities.' For eighty miles
along the route of his army, then the most highly improved
and cultivated region of the State, the habitations of but two
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 189
white persons remain, and if a single town or village or
hamlet within the line of march escaped altogether the torch
of the invaders the Committee have not been informed of
the exception. * * >i^ Before the surrender of the town,
the soldiers of General Sherman, officers and privates,
declared that it was to be destroyed. At Lexington, on the
1 6th February, General Kilpatricksaid in reference to Colum-
bia: 'Sherman will lay it in ashes for them.' A Federal
Lieutenant on the 17th wrote to Mrs. McCord: 'My heart
bleeds to think of what is threatening; leave the town, go
anywhere to be safer than here.' To W. H. Orchard the
leader of a squad said : ' If you have anything you wish to
save, take care of it at once, for before morning this d'nd
town will be in ashes. If you watch, you will see three rockets
go up soon. If you don't take my advice, you will see hell.'
Within an hour afterwards three rockets were seen to ascend,
and but a few minutes elapsed before fires in quick succession
broke out at intervals so distant that they could not have
been communicated from one to the other. At various parts
of the town the soldiers of General Sherman at the appear-
ance of the rockets declared that they were the appointed
signals for a general conflagration. * * The soldiers with
bayonets and axes pierced and cut the hose, disabled the
engines and prevented the citizens from extinguishing the
flames. * * By 3 o'clock A. M. on the night of 17th
February, 1865, more than two- thirds of the town lay in
ashes, comprising the most highly improved and the entire
business part of it. * * That Columbia was burned by the
soldiers of General Sherman, that the vast majority of the in-
cendiaries were sober, that for hours they were seen with com-
bustibles firing house after house, without any affectation of con-
cealment and without the slightest check from their officers, is
established by proof full to repletion, and wearisome from its
very superfluity. After the destruction of the town, his ofifi-
190 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
cers and men openly approved of its burning and exulted in
it. It was said by numbers of the soldiers that the order had
been given to burn down the city. There is strong evidence
that such an order was actually issued in relation to the house
of General John S. Preston. The proof comes from the
Mother Superior of the Ursuline Convent, which was de-
stroyed by the fire. She says General Sherman offered her
next morning any house she might select for the use of her
Convent and directed Colonel Ewing to carry out the offer.
When she told Colonel Ewing that she chose General Pres-
ton's house, he replied, 'That is where General Logan holds
his headquarters, and orders have already been given to burn
it to-morrow morning, but if you say you will take it I will >
speak-to the General.' On the following morning we learned
from the officer in charge, (General Perry, I think,) that
orders were to fire it unless a detachment of the Sisters were
in actual possession.
''As to the cotton, Generals Beauregard and Hampton
ordered it not to be burned. These orders were issued by
Captain Rawlins Lowndes, then acting as Hampton's Adju-
tant, and General M. C. Butler, who was with the rear
squadron of the Confederate cavalry, deposes that Hampton
directed him that the cotton was not to be burnt; that this
direction was communicated to the entire division and was
strictly observed. Rev. A. Toomer Porter was told by
General Hampton: 'The cotton is not to be burnt; the
wind is too high ; it might catch something and give Sherman
an excuse for burning the town.' Mayor Goodwyn deposes
that Hampton said the same to him. "^ * The wind blew
from the West, but the fires at night broke out West of Main
and Sumter streets, where the cotton bales were, and instead
of burning the houses was probably burnt by them."
Moreover, James G. Gibbes says in his communication of
September, 1880, to the Weekly Times, Philadelphia: "The
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 191
fire continued throughout the night, the streets being
crowded all the time with soldiers, but no officers were to be
seen. I did see General Sherman riding leisurely through the
streets, smoking a cigar, but he gave no orders and seemed
to take little interest in what was going on. No one could
witness the scene without the firm conviction that the soldiers
were given to understand that they had free license to do as
they pleased, and that there would be no restraint over them.
I spent almost the entire night in the streets and witnessed
many houses fired by the soldiers, and I never saw (nor did I
ever see any one who did) a single instance in which any
assistance was rendered by the soldiers to save property from
the flames. =h * i am satisfied that, looking from the upper
part of my house, I saw not less than eight hundred to a
thousand men engaged in probing the ground with their bayo-
nets or iron ramrods, searching for buried treasures. The
storm of fire raged with unabated fury until daylight or a
little later, when my attention was drawn to a number of
cavalry, in squads of three or four, galloping through the
streets, sounding their bugles and calling on the soldiers to
fall into ranks. This was the first sign of any attempt at dis-
cipline or the issuing of any orders to the rank and file. I
understood immediately that the worst was over, and so it
was. * * The track of fire was just in the rear of my own
dwelling and approaching it so rapidly that all who were with
me had abandoned it, and I had prepared to leave also, when
I noticed the orders for falling into ranks. In less than
thirty minutes after the orders were given every straggler was
in ranks and the destruction virtually over. Nowhere was the
discipline of Sherman's army more conspicuous than in the
quick, prompt and immediate recognition of their orders to
stop from any further destruction of the city. It seemed
like magic. All was quiet and orderly as if the men were on
dress parade, when but a moment before it seemed as if to
ruin and destroy was the only thing thought of."
Now, if all this testimony had been submitted to the Mixed
Commission, or to any other fair tribunal sitting in Columbia,
and if General Howard had testified to what he told General
Hampton, Colonel Childs, James G. Gibbes and Rev. Mr.
Shand and others, I risk nothing in saying what their verdict
would and ought to have been. But why multiply words in
so plain a case? General Sherman was in command; he
knew the feelings of his men towards the people of Colum-
bia; he admitted that he had the power to control them
when he said to Mayor Goodwyn : *'Go home and rest
assured that your city will be as safe in my hands as if you
had controlled it ;" and he turned his trooj^s loose in the
place without any restraint whatever, until they had destroyed
enough of it to satisfy his vanity and malice ; then he ordered
the work to stop, and it did stop. Whether they were drunk
or sober is immaterial. He did exactly what one would have
done who wanted the town destroyed, and he alone is respon-
sible for the consequences, and doubly responsible, because
he voluntarily promised protection and purposely failed to
take any step towards even trying to fulfill his promise.
If a transaction witnessed by forty or fifty thousand people
can be successfully falsified, of what value is human testi-
mony, or how can we rely upon any fact stated in history?
Sunday, igth. — After the interview with General Sherman,
I summoned James G. and Dr. R. W. Gibbes, Jr., Clark
Waring, D. P. McDonald, Dr. Wm. Reynolds and others,
about a dozen in number, to meet at my house to-night and
arrange for receiving the guns and cattle to-morrow.
General Howard having notified Mayor Goodwyn that they
would be turned over to us at 6 o'clock A. M. They met
and Dr. Goodwyn was present. James G. Gibbes, Mr. Dovil-
liers and others agreed to get the guns, which were at the
Asylum, while another party was to gviafd the cattle then in
the College Campus.
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 193
Monday, 20th. — The citizens were notified to meet at 9
o'clock in Mrs. Lyons's yard and arrange for the protection
of the place ; but very few appeared. The guns turned over
to us by General Sherman were found to be plugged with
sand, either designedly or from disuse, and gunsmiths were
employed to remove the sand before they could be used. By
12 o'clock about a hundred had assembled and Captain Stan-
ley was appointed to command the guard. Whilst a commit-
tee, with Mayor Goodwyn, were arranging for detail of
guards, Rev. Mr. Toomer Porter announced an order from
General Howard for us to take charge of the city above Cam-
den street at 2 o'clock, as his forces in that quarter were
marching out, and Captain Stanley ordered ten or a dozen
for that purpose. Sherman's army were departing all day,
and he directed us to put to death all stragglers found in our
Tuesday, 21st. — I met City Council at J. M. Blakely's
house, where the Aldermen made their first report to the
Mayor since the arrival of Sherman's army. Decided to send
Mr. Blakely to Pacolet for provisions belonging to Supply
Association managed by M. C. Mordecai. At 12 o'clock a
public meeting was held in State House yard, where we agreed
to enroll all needing food and to call on those having any to
spare to give it for others. T. J. Robertson offered money
and provisions. David Jacobs, A. L. Solomons and Mr.
Edgerton each ^5,000 in currency, and the latter ^50 in
gold. I consented to serve on the Committee of enrollment
with A. G. Baskin, and we took seats in Plain street, at
Rhett's mill, where we registered many names. Mr. Brooks
offered to build a flat for crossing Broad River. At night,
with Clark Waring, young Cohen, Rev. T. Raysor and D. P.
McDonald, patrolled around our square till after 12 o'clock,
but found all very quiet. On Wednesday, and for a week or
more afterwards, pursued same course.
li)i RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
This week Waring and Brooks made a flat, but in trying to
cross the river the wire broke. My son Henry had left us on
the morning of the 17th to join Hampton's retreating troops,
and we got quite uneasy at hearing nothing from or of him
till March 12th, when C. J. BoUin told me he and J. B. Glass
had spent a night with Mark Brown, at Winnsboro, on their
return from Charlotte, and had gone to Cokesbury for pro-
March i^th. — The continued rains and the bungling of
those in charge of the ferries have prevented our receipts of
food and communication with the country, except occasion-
ally. Augusta sent us eighteen wagon loads, but they were
left over the river and mostly stolen. The first arrival of
provisions was brought in two wagons by Wm. J. Anderson
and Rev. J. Leighton Wilson, from Sumter, the loads made
up by themselves, Captain Wm. Harris and others. I had
written there and up the country, informing my friends of
our condition, and this cargo was in response to my appeal.
About the same time Morris Strauss, at Cokesbury, sent us a
wagon load or two, which were unfortunately stopped at New-
berry. James G. Gibbes has acted as Mayor in place of Dr.
Goodwyn, who became completely worn out from fatigue and
anxiety when Sherman left us. . Gibbes, by common consent,
was the only man here with energy and capacity for the occa-
sion. He seemed to never tire or relax his efforts, going
everywhere, listening to all complaints, attending all calls,
talking, eating and drinking as he went, and his services to
the city were beyond all computation or compensation, yet
he never charged or received a single cent, and seemed glad
for once in his life to have on hand as much as he could do.
I have served daily in distributing tickets for food; have met
a Committee with Dr. Gibbes, Dr. John Fisher, Messrs.
Edgerton, J. K. Crawford and D. P. McDonald for the trial
of disorderly negroes, who need checking these lawless times,
KANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 195
and have attended meetings of a Committee of City Coimcil
with Mr. Kerrison and Colonel Heyward, deputed by the
Governor to collect and distribute supplies. The five hun-
dred beeves left us by General Sherman proved to be the
starving cattle that his foragers had collected on their march,
and were miserably poor, yet they served to keep our people
alive for some weeks, a ration of a pound of this wretched
beef and a quart of meal per day being issued to the number
of 7,000 applicants whom we had enrolled. The supply of
medicine for our 20,000 population, received by Dr. Gibbes
from the Federal Surgeon General, was in a box that would
have held one or two hundred cigars, with a pint bottle of
My Trip Up the Rivek — End of the War — Visit to Salt Works —
Election to the Legislature — Copartnership with George W.
Williams— Bank Robbery— Connection with Southern, Baldwin
AND Shiver — Reconstruction — Failure in Health and Business —
Seven Springs Mass — Rhymes.
On the 15th I consented, by request of Council, to go up
Broad River by boat, to hire, purchase or have built other
boats for bringing down provisions, since, from scarcity of
horses and wagons, they cannot reach us by land.
Sunday, igth. — Took passage in Captain Hughes's boat at
Geiger's Mill, with Colonel Wm. Shiver, Dr. Honour, Dr.
Muckenfuss, Mr. Burdell of Bank of State, Mr. Brown of
Union and others — some going in another boat. The river
was high and rain fell nearly all the time. We slept of
nights in a wet camp on the river bank.
19(5 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
Wednesday, 22d. — A batteau took me from the boat across
the river to Henderson's Island, which is two and a half miles
long by three-quarters wide at the broadest point. Walked
across the island to Mrs. Henderson's, on the West side, and
thence was directed and helped by way of Reuben Lyles's
and Wm. E. Hardy's to W. W. Renwick's, who went with
me to George B. Tucker's, on Enoree, in search for boats, but
the latter was not at home. From there we proceeded to
Wm. Glenn's, an old boatman, who gave me the desired
information as to the cost and building of such boats as we
needed. At Robert Beaty's and ex-Governor Gist's I had a
kind and welcome reception, with conveyance to Union,
where Dr. Herndon took me in charge, and I enjoyed the
hospitality of his house till I met with R. V. Gist, manager
of the Iron Works, on Broad River, and he agreed to build
two boats and send them to Columbia as soon as possible.
After staying a couple of days at Gist's, (where I found
Mr. John C. Cochran, Cashier of the Southwestern Railroad
Bank, with Mr. Henry Gourdin and Mr. Hendricks in charge
of the bank's effects,) I returned to Pacolet and by railroad
to Santuc, whence I went on foot to Gordon's Mills, on
Tyger River, where, with several returning soldiers, each
was charged fifty cents for crossing in a batteau and the same
for riding in a wagon three miles to Wm. E. Hardy's. Mr.
Hardy sent a boy and horse with me to Mr. Renwick's, and
he conveyed me back to Mrs. Henderson's, on the island.
From there Dr. Hancock brought me to the head of the
canal, about 8 o'clock at night, on Sunday, April 9th, and I
walked to town on the railroad track in the dark, amidst a
shower of rain, arriving at home after 9, thoroughly fatigued.
Robert Beaty gave me half a dozen fine hams and made a
present of the same number to Messrs. R. O'Neale and John
A. Crawford. The abundance of provisions in that fertile
region, which the Yankees failed to reach, was in striking
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 197
contrast with our utterly destitute condition in and around
Columbia, and the kindness and liberality of the people,
except at Gordon's Mills, was unbounded. The light from
the burning of our city had been seen eighty miles distant
and our calamity excited their sincerest commiseration and
sympathy. Whilst away exciting and conflicting rumors from
the army were afloat. On Friday, the yth, I first heard of
the fall of Richmond, but did not believe it. After that the
news had been confirmed, though we could get no particulars.
On looking back to that gloomy period I miss many elderly
citizens who had previously been hale and vigorous, but who
gradually declined and died, I have no doubt, from trouble
and despair at the loss of their property and the apparently
hopeless condition of the country. Consequently, I think,
we have fewer old men in Columbia than in former times.
Some who had always borne the character of honest men,
under the strong temptations of want and evil examples,
and in the absence of all legal restraint, proved otherwise
and took all they could lay their hands on. A few Gov-
ernment stores that remained were robbed at night,
while bonds, mules and wagons were appropriated to their
own use by the officials to whom they had been en-
trusted. The spirit of patriotism that seemed to pervade all
classes at the beginning of the war had measurably died out,
and in its place was the selfish greed of speculation and ex-
tortion, especially on the necessaries of life. Able-bodied
young men, who ought to have been in the army, sought and
obtained exemption for the purpose of making money. Some
gained immense fortunes in a short time, which, by the col-
lapse of the Confederacy, were as suddenly dissipated. It
was indeed a "time that tried men's souls." I can recall no
single instance of one who thus "rose upon his country's
ruin" that retained his ill-gotten gains. A few days before
the surrender of Columbia a poor woman from the country
198 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
Spent a day in our streets trying to get a peck of salt, but
none could be found for sale, yet after the fire hundreds of
sacks lay open to the view in cellars and back stores^ where
they had been concealed waiting for higher prices. A mer-
chant reported to have made three hundred thousand dollars
in two or three years and who hoped that salt would go to a
hundred dollars a bushel lost his all in one night. Another,
in a country village, who had all that heart could wish, told
me afterwards the Yankees left him and his family without
even a cup from which to take a drink of water. The down-
fall of our cause was owing in a great measure to the preva-
lence of this desire for wealth.
This summer, for the first time since 1822, have had nothing
to do but keep charge of the books and assets of the bank, at
a nominal salary of ^400. In June went to the salt works in
Southwest Virginia to collect a debt of ^100,000 due General
John S. Preston as part purchase money for the works, but
effected nothing beyond seeing that rich and beautiful region.
These works, when in full operation, could turn out thirteen
thousand bushels of salt per day. They consisted of two
wells or springs, from which the water flowed in tubes or
pipes, and were not more than ten feet apart, but located in
different Counties, whose dividing line ran between them in a
beautiful valley about half a mile wide, shut in by two ranges
of high mountains. Near by was a long row of boilers cov-
ered by a shed. The water was so strongly impregnated with
saline matter that, when boiled down, a bushel of it made a
gallon of pure fine salt as white as the driven snow. It was
so valuable that the whole neighboring region had been
tried by boring, but without success, no other place being
found where it would pay to erect works. Found the whole
country, from Chester, S. C, to Richmond, and thence to
and beyond Lynchburg, full of Yankee soldiers, and our poor
fellows returning home, worn out, sick and destitute.
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 199
After thinking over many projects for employment, I
became a candidate for the Legislature, in October, with the
intention of trying to get the office of Comptroller General
if it should be vacant, of which there was some doubt.
Although my candidacy was announced but three days before
the election, the good people of Richland gave me a seat in
the House of Representatives. There I felt more out of place
than in any other position I have ever occupied, and became
satisfied that making laws was not in my line. Moreover the
Legislature decided that the Comptroller's office was not
vacant, but belonged rightfully to Mr. Hood. I then applied
to General Preston and to John Caldwell for capital to start
a banking and brokerage business on joint account in Colum-
bia, but they both declined, thinking unfavorably of the pro-
ject, to their great regret, as frequently expressed afterwards.
On making a like proposition to Mr. George W. Williams of
Charleston, accompanied by letters from some mutual friends,
he consented to give me a credit of ten thousand dollars at the
outset, and in January, 1866, when I first made his acquaint-
ance, we entered into a copartnership for two years, he
furnishing the capital and I managing the business — the
profits to be equally divided between us. It proved far more
successful than either of us had expected, and we divided
nineteen thousand dollars in May, 1868. A contract for its
continuance with my son Henry as a partner was then made
for the ensuing two years. A few days before the expiration
of that term, when we had cleared upwards of thirty thou-
sand dollars, our bank was broken open and robbed of its
contents, including a large amount belonging to special
depositors. Thus nearly all that I had made up to that time
was lost. But I had long seen the folly of trying to accumu-
late more of this world's goods than one needs, and felt con-
fident that with -life and health I could recover the loss, so it
gave me very little trouble. In fact I neither eat nor slept
200 KANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
any the less on its account. It did annoy me, however,
as it defeated a trip to Europe, which I had intended
making during the summer, and from which I anticipated a
great deal of pleasure. Hitherto I never could spare time
and money for the purpose. The very day before the robbery
occurred at night, I had written to JMr. Williams on the sub-
ject, and that was as near as I ever came to crossing the
Atlantic. But I consoled myself with the reflection that I
had passed many pleasant summers on this side and could do
Some curious facts connected with the robbery will now
be mentioned, although they will take considerable time and
space. It occurred on the night of Saturday, April i6,
1870. When informed of it on Sunday morning, I went to
the bank and found the vault door and the burglar-proof iron
safe torn to pieces, our customers' trunks and boxes broken
open, the money, bonds and other valuables missing and the
floor covered with the wrappers and paper that had covered
the packages. The rogues left also a box with a complete set
of burglars' tools and implements which they had used and a
sledge-hammer stolen from Brennan & Carroll's blacksmith
shop, thus furnishing me with the means of going into their
business if so disposed. As the news spread it excited great
commotion, and quite a crowd assembled to gaze on the
scene. Our police was altogether inefficient and unprepared
to act in such a case, but they set to work and did their best.
We offered a reward of ^6,000 for information sufficient to
convict the robbers and a percentage upon the amount that
might be recovered. Besides, some of our friends volun-
teered to go on the different railroads and watch at certain
points. Two or three days later a carpet-bag was found be-
tween Logan & Graham's cotton gin and the South Carolina
Railroad, containing various articles of clothing and some
tools that matched like articles found on the floor of the
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 201
bank. Further inquiry showed that three or four strangers
had been camping some time the week before in the woods
beyond the railroad, between the town and the river. A
party went there on Tuesday or Wednesday morning, and
where the camp had been one of them picked up a roll of
paper about the size of a pipe stem, which had been torn in
pieces and. wrapped tightly together. On unfolding the
pieces and putting them together, they read as follows :
''Albany, N. Y., April , 1870. J. A. Asdell, Columbia,
S. C: Have sold my farm; will be in Augusta Thursday.
(Signed J J. Tierney."
Following this clue, we discovered that on the Thursday
preceding the robbery the name of J. A. Asdell, New
Orleans, appeared on the register of the Columbia Hotel
among the arrivals that evening, and that he left the house
next morning, but attracted no notice. At the telegraph
office a stranger called about dusk on Saturday, and, inquir-
ing if they had anything for J. A. Asdell, 'received the dis-
patch copied above. Hence we inferred that he was the
burglar. He was a thick-set man of dark complexion,
dressed like a mechanic, and we could trace him no further.
Pinkerton's detectives in New York were employed and
they reported Jack Tierney of Albany as a fast man who
had been concerned in negotiating some bonds stolen from a
New York bank. He left Albany on Monday after the rob-
bery, arrived in New York that evening, then went to Brook-
lyn or Jersey City, where he had relatives, and thenceforth
disappeared. I had reason to suspect certain persons in
Columbia, belonging to the Radical party, who were then
engaged in plundering our State, of either committing or
employing others to commit the robbery, but in the absence
of proof it would have been useless to prosecute them.
203 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
Soon after the robbery occurred, Mr. Sample, a banker in
Nashville, Tennessee, called on me in Columbia, heard an
account of the affair and received a copy of our circular
offering a reward and containing a list of some of the
lost money and securities. In February, 1872, I received a
dispatch from him stating that he was offered a large amount
in bills of the Exchange Bank of Columbia which had been
taken from our vault, and that if I would come to Nashville
we might catch the thief. I immediately took the train for
that city, and on arriving was informed of the following facts
by Sample : That in October, 1871, a young man who called
his name Smith had sold him several thousand dollars
in bills of the Bank of the State of South Carolina, for which
he paid by a check on New York to Smith's order; that he
meantime had lost sight of and forgotten my circular show-
ing a large amount in bills of that bank as stolen when we
were robbed ; that later in the same day Smith called again
just before the departure of the train for Louisville, seeming
much hurried and excited, and offered to sell him several
thousand dollars more in bills of the same bank ; that Smith's
manner led him to suspect something wrong, and he proposed
taking the bills at the same rate, on the condition that if he
made a large profit on them Smith should be allowed a share
of the gain on his leaving his address in New York, where
he professed his home was; that Smith left his name and
address on a slip of paper which lay upon his desk several
months ; that he requested his correspondent in New York to
be particular in noticing who presented the check for pay-
ment, and telegraphed to Blythe, a noted detective in Louis-
ville, to watch Smith's movements whilst there, who did so
and reported nothing suspicious; that his check in Smith's
favor was not presented for payment till six months after its
issue, and then was in the hands of a little old German Jew.
Sample then showed me a dispatch that he had received from
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 203
Smith in New York a few days before, inquiring what he
would give for ^13,000 in bills of the Exchange Bank of
Columbia. This he said caused him to remember the rob-
bery of my bank, and he replied making a fair offer for the
bills. Smith had accepted the offer and forwarded the bills
by Express, requesting the return of a check for the amount,
and they were then in the Express office adjoining the Max-
well House, where I had stopped. Before leaving home I
ascertained that Mr. C. H. Baldwin, Receiver for the Ex-
change Bank, had redeemed all of its issues but three or
four thousand dollars in 1870 and deposited the redeemed
bills in our vault for safe keeping. And as the package then
in the Express office contained more than all the unredeemed
bills of the bank, its contents, or a portion of them, must
have been taken when we were robbed. When Sample
received the package we counted the bills and found the
amount as stated by Smith. After consulting Judge Whit-
worth, an old Nashville Bank President, Sample set out
immediately for New York to identify Smith and have him
arrested and taken to Columbia on a requisition from the
Governor of South Carolina, for which I by telegraph
directed my son in Columbia to apply with the necessary
affidavit. The requisition was obtained and entrusted to R.
C. Shiver, who was about departing for New York, and was
instructed to communicate with Sample on his arrival. To
throw Smith off his guard till Sample could reach New York,
we got a daily Nashville paper to strike off a few copies of
its issue with a card announcing the death of Sample's mother-
in-law in a neighboring town and that he had gone there to
attend her funeral. This card was mailed to Smith in the
name of Sample's clerk, with the promise that a check for
the bills should be remitted on Sample's return. Pinkerton's
Detective Agency was employed meantime to watch the office
at Smith's hotel and arrest the person who might claim the
204 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
letter addressed to him. One of the detectives saw the letter
delivered to a boy, who claimed it, and followed him to a
low groggery on a side street, where he handed it to a man
evidently waiting for it. This man rose from his seat, passed
his hand across his face and walked out, accompanied by a
couple of companions. Instead of arresting him at once,
the detective, according to his own account, dogged the party
to another drinking house, into which they entered and
passed through the back door, where they disappeared and
could not be found. This occurred previous to the arrival of
Sample and Shiver in New York. The requisition on the
Governor of New York had to be presented to him at Albany
for approval and certification. Then when it came back to
New York, Sample, Shiver and Pinkerton's men searched for
Smith and captured him at the hotel. He protested his inno-
cence, claimed an alibi, and appealed to Shiver for an investi-
gation. Fearing a suit for damages if they had arrested the
wrong man. Shiver allowed an inquiry to be made before a
New York Justice or Police Court, and was left at liberty
to convey Smith to South Carolina if he chose to take the
responsibility. In view of the testimony, he doubted whether
the person arrested was Smith, and suspected that the detect-
ives had, for a consideration, allowed the real offender to
escape to Canada, whilst they persuaded Sample to arrest the
wrong man. And thus ended all our efforts to arrest the
The war was followed by the years of so-called reconstruc-
tion under Radical misrule, when rogues and rascals held high
carnival in the State and city governments, and vied with each
other in showing the depths of infamy and corruption to which
human nature can descend when unrestrained by law, con-
science or public opinion. They congregated in Columbia —
the seat of government — where jobbery and robbery were
openly practiced and boasted of. The State debt was doubled.
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 205
the annual expenses of the Legislature were trebled and some-
times quadrupled. New bonds authorized to be exchanged
for old, were issued without such exchange and their proceeds
pocketed by the officers who issued them. Coupons redeemed
by the Treasurer, instead of being canceled, were put upon
the market and sold for his private emolument. Judge Mel-
ton, as Attorney General, afterwards sued him and got a ver-
dict of ^75,000 in favor of the State. An appropriation
bill in the Legislature, after enumerating all the extravagant
items that could be invented, was passed with an additional
false aggregate of, I believe, ^150,000 to its real amount.
This was discovered by Governor Scott, and was so barefaced
and inexcusable that he refused to give it his official signa-
ture and approval. Joe Crews actually complained to me
of the Governor's veto on this occasion as an outrageous
desertion of his party. In the city government it was no
better, as the following instances will show:
I was a member of the Council for a part of the war time,
and, as Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, had
become familiar with its financial condition. On declining
to serve, after a re-election, I publicly expressed the opinion
that by proper management, with increased but not immod-
erate taxation for three or four years, and the sale of the city's
^150,000 in stock of the Greenville and the Charlotte Rail-
roads, the entire bonded debt of ^320,000 might be paid off
and the citizens freed from future taxation, except for current
expenses. The overthrow of the Confederacy and the de-
struction of the place by Sherman, of course, prevented any
attempt at proving the correctness of my opinion. But the
Radical party then took charge of the municipality, and in
the face of the facts that the city had been desolated, as
already described, and that its people were just crawling out
of the ashes, as if determined to defeat our exertions for
returning prosperity, they engaged in the wildest schemes of
206 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
useless extravagance and waste. After selling and devouring
the proceeds of our railroad stock, and when unable to meet
the interest on their bonds as it fell due, they blindly and
recklessly adopted the following measures : They sold the
water works to a private individual, contracting to pay him
for extending the pipes and supplying the place with water
at an annual sum far exceeding what it had previously cost,
under the pretense that the supply was insufficient, although
it had sufficed during the war, when we had twice the popula-
tion that has been within our bounds at any time since.
They bargained for and commenced the building of a new
market house, on Assembly street, in front of Gus Cooper's
store, for his benefit, but in the course of its erection, Provi-
dence seemed to interfere and a storm blew down the frame
work, when it was abandoned after a considerable outlay.
Then they started a scheme for erecting an Opera House and
City Hal!, as if it was the duty of the Council to provide a
place for theatrical and other performances. In their pub-
lished proceedings they declared that the cost would not
exceed ^75,000 and that they had the means of paying for
it without any increase of taxation. This declaration was
followed by an application to the Legislature for leave to
issue ^250,000 in bonds in order to meet the expense. Mean-
time they entered into a contract to pay Isaac A, Allen
$142,000 for doing the work, he being, by the merest trickery
and subterfuge, the lowest bidder at that price. The princi-
pal taxpayers opposed the petition for power to issue new
bonds, and applied to the Courts to set aside the contract
with Allen, as fraudulent in character and excessive in amount.
Judge Melton, after hearing the case, declared the contract
null and void, and one of the previous bidders at about
$140,000 took the job for $90,000. The Council in the
meantime had borrowed $75,000 from Dr. Neagle to carry on
the work, and had given him as security for the loan, a lot of
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 207
bonds which the Legislature some years previously had author-
ized to be issued in aid of the railroad to Augusta, but which,
not being required or used for that purpose, had been left in
the City Clerk's office. Neagle became dissatisfied with this
security and demanded something else in its place. Now,
although these facts were admitted, and could not be denied,
the Legislature took up the matter as a party question, and,
backed by the recommendation of the Committee of Ways
and Means, with Whipper as Chairman, passed an Act author-
izing the new issue, but guarded it by a provision that the
entire indebtedness of the corporation should never in any
event exceed ^600,000. Some of us did all we could to
defeat the bill, or to reduce the maximum amount to $500,000.
Tim Hurley, a member of the Committee and one of the
most candid and impudent of the party, who said on all
occasions that they would steal, told me privately that it
would not cost much to defeat the bill, but my friends and I
refused to take the hint and allowed it to pass. In spite of
the express limitation of the city debt to $600,000, the scamps
made it one or two hundred thousand more before we could
stop them, and on that .increased basis it was finally com-
promised after infinite disputation and litigation.
Our copartnership with Mr. Williams expired in May, 1870,
soon after the robbery, and he signified his desire to quit the
concern, giving me time to make other arrangements. Accord-
ingly we brought it to a close on the ist of August, without
having had the slightest disagreement or complaint on either
side during its continuance. He complied strictly and
promptly with his part of the contract in furnishing funds
when called for, and never interfered with my management
by advice or otherwise. I then made a connection with
Messrs. J. P. Southern, C. H. Baldwin and R. C. Shiver for
the ensuing two years, they putting in $75,000 in cash, and
I and my son, with assistants, attending to the business. At
208 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
the end of that time we divided between twenty-five and
thirty thousand dollars of profits. Thus, in the first six years
after the war I made ^75,000 for my partners and myself,
without dealing harshly or illiberally with any customer.
Then Mr. Southern and Mr. Shiver, with some others, bought
the charter of the old Union Savings Bank and urged me to
merge my business with theirs and take the place of President
with my son as Cashier, offering me ^5,000 for the good will
of my concern, and ^30,000 — a profit of ^5,000 — on the cost
of my banking house, with its fixtures, and the adjoining
store. But we disagreed as to the salaries that I demanded
for myself and my son, and they rented another place and
opened the Savings Bank, while we continued on alone.
This was in August, 1872.
My business had grown up gradually under my management
and control, and I had every reason to believe that it would
continue to increase, whilst I feared disagreement with some
of their directors and doubted the success of their scheme.
Next year came the panic of 1873, ^^^ suspension of nearly
all banks throughout the country, and great shrinkage of
values in real estate and other property, with the insolvency
of many parties hitherto regarded as abundantly good. I
managed to meet all demands, while the National Banks in
Columbia suspended payment for sums exceeding ^100, and
the Citizens' Savings Bank went into bankruptcy. The uni-
versal depression continued a number of years, with no pros-
pect of improvement or relief Besides, in 1876, while I
was absent, my son was taken dangerously ill and died early
in August, four days after my return. This was a very severe
blow to me, for he was the active out-door man in our bank.
But, in addition, just then occurred the violent political
agitation and elections throughout the State, for relief from
Radical rule, absorbing the time and attention of our people
and nearly stopping all business. And finally, in November,
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 209
I was struck down with a chronic disease of the kidneys that
had troubled me many years, which prevented my proper and
necessary attention to the office and endangered my life for
eighteen months. During this time I had dropsy, a complete
derangement of the digestive organs, was threatened with
hernia and confined to my bed room eight or ten months, with
occasional attacks of nervousness, when I expected to survive
but a few hours. Under these circumstances, which I could
not possibly have foreseen or avoided, I made an assignment
in June, 1877, and, owing to the depreciation in the prices
of property and failure of debtors to meet their engagements,
it resulted in heavy losses to my depositors, among whom
were my only child, a daughter, and my daughter-in-law,
who were not preferred nor cautioned to withdraw their
money, but shared the fate of all the rest.
From this dangerous condition, when the end was evidently
approaching, and I had lain nearly unconscious several days,
relief came almost miraculously. Dr. Talley, whose faithful
and skillful attention had, with the blessing of Heaven,
prolonged my life, told me one day of a remedy that had
been produced in this way: A man near Abingdon, in
Virginia, had drawn from a spring in his neighborhood
a barrel of water and placed it over a slow fire until
it was reduced to a pint. He then went to six other
springs and drew from each a like quantity, which was treated
in the same manner. These seven pints of water he mixed
together, and by evaporation produced a mass, in color and
consistency resembling putty, which he declared would cure
the dropsy. It was called The Seven Spring Mass, and, to
the surprise of every one, on trial it proved to be a specific
for the disease, as was certified to by such men as Bishop
Pierce of Georgia. The Doctor, with my consent, ordered
some of the singular medicine. The dropsy in my lower
limbs had then been growing and increasing, though very
210 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
slowly, for about a year, while my arms showed nothing but
skin and bone, and all my senses were seriously affected.
Yet a small dose of the mass, in a single night, carried off all
the accumulated water, leaving the skin that had been so long
distended, all loose and shrivelled. A repetition of the dose
a week or two afterwards relieved me entirely from the
dropsy; the other symptoms of disease abated, and in the
course of a month I crawled out to the front door. Some
time in April my strength bore me to Main street, though
still very weak. I feared the first person I met would take
me by the throat with the demand : '' Pay what thou owest."
But all seemed glad to see me; expressed their sympathy for
my misfortunes, and one good lady, whose kindness I shall
never forget, crossed the street to meet me, turned back in
her way, and walked upwards of two squares to chat with me.
From that time my health gradually improved and has since
been as good as that of any one at my time of life.
The effects of this medicine were so happy and wonderful
in my case that I record them here for the benefit of others
who may be similarly afflicted. I had always before regarded
the dropsy as incurable, having never known a patient to
recover from it.
KANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 211
"All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players ;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts."
Among the parts that I have played was, in my youthful
days, that of a rhymer for very young ladies, who generally
pronounced my productions be-e-aiitiful ; and now, to fill up
some space for the printers, such as I have not forgotten will
be coi)ied, and my long and tedious task brought to an end.
I never kept duplicates of them, but have now and then
rewritten one from memory for the amusement of a friend,
and only one or two have ever been published. Those of my
readers who have no taste for such trifles can pass them by
without notice, as they are merely thrown in for good
measure, and because without them my recollections would
H BIRTHDM SONG,
'Tis the maiden's birthday ; the sky is bright.
The roses are blooming around ;
There's beauty in all that meets the sight.
And music in every sound.
The cooing dove on the lonely hill,
The martin high up in the air.
And the flattering mocking bird, loud and shrill,
Hail the birth of the young and the fair.
212 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
The butterfly, decked in vermillion and gold,
Calls to visit the beautiful miss ;
And the saucy mosquito, mischievous and bold.
Makes her blush with the warmth of his kiss.
At midnight the whippoorwill's ceaseless cry
Fills the woods with a serenade.
While the firefly waves his torch on high
As a silent huzza for the maid.
Sweet maid of sixteen, may no sorrow or blight
Ever furrow your cheek or your brow.
But may time in his flight find your eye still as bright.
And your slumbers as peaceful as now.
In days of yore the gallant knight
Went forth to many a field of fight.
Encountered peril, pain and toil —
His sole reward, sweet woman's smile ;
But days of knighthood now are o'er.
Their gleaming spears are seen no more.
Unheard their trumpets' martial strains.
Yet woman's influence still remains.
At her command grave, steady men,
Unused to wield the poet's pen,
Laying ambition, strife and pride.
And cares and business all aside.
And summoning from mem'ry's throng
Thoughts that to other days belong,
Essay to fill a vacant page
With fancies bright or counsels sage.
To cull a chaplet fair and sweet,
And lay it humbly at her feet.
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 218
Maiden of the raven hair, kind heart and merry eyes.
Alone I often think of you as fade the evening skies ;
Robed in crimson drapery, when the sun retires to rest.
Your breath is on the balmy breeze, your blush is in the West.
'Mid gathering shades yon silver cloud reflects the absent sun,
E'en so in mem'ry bring me back, when I from earth am gone.
The brightest sky is farthest off, the darkest overhead.
So shone the joys of long ago, so present sorrows spread.
I had a dream,* a glorious dream, of Eden's blissful bowers,
When all was peace and happiness within this world of ours,
And there I saw an earthly maid, most beautiful and bright,
Who seemed to be at home amid that world of pure delight.
A sound like that of lofty pines when swept by winter's blast,
And a troop of white-robed angels came sailing slowly past ;
On glittering wings, with golden harps, they hovered o'er the place.
While the light reflected from their forms lit up the maiden's face.
Celestial flowers in rosy wreaths around her brow they hung.
And the air was full of melody as thus the angels sung :
" We come to you, sweet earthly maid, our nature to impart.
That you may be an angel in appearance and in heart ;
Your eye shall have a brighter glance, your voice a sweeter tone.
Your cheek a richer, deeper blush than any but your own :
We'll guard and guide your daily walk, till daily walks shall cease —
Your ways shall all be pleasantness, your paths shall all be peace ;
And we'll take you up to dwell with us, if cares and troubles come.
For you're fit for brighter regions, this dark earth is not your home.'
214 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
They waved arewell and soared on high — my glorious dream was past ;
Like all my dreams of happiness, too bright, too sweet to last.
But still a rosy glow was shed on all surrounding things —
The poplar leaves still quivered with the waving of their wings ;
Faint echoes of their music from a distant cloud I heard,
And a trembling flash disclosed the track by which they disappeared.
I turned to gaze around me, too full of thought for speech.
When lo ! that maiden's album lay just within my reach,
Enriched with friendship's precious fruits, adorned with fancy's flowers.
As full of pure and peaceful thoughts as Eden's blissful bowers ;
And I this tribute added, to her beauty and her worth.
She is fit for better regions, her true home is not on earth.
In reply to a bantering anonymous letter received by a friend.
Dear miss, your epistle has just come to hand,
And I would, most willingly, grant your demand
And fly to your arms without any delay,
But for one or two obstacles still in the way.
In the first place, your name is a secret to me —
It's not in your letter so far as I see.
Then, your description has nothing peculiar to you,
For other young ladies have eyes that are blue,
With hair that is auburn, and they too are tall,
And I have looked wistful and sighed to them all ;
I cannot but sigh when I witness the grace.
The beauty and sweetness of form and of face.
Like stars in the darkness of midnight that shine
To light my lone pathway, but cannot be mine.
But then you may ask, " Can't I tell by your ' leer? ' "
No, all ladies sometimes look cross my sweet dear.
So you see I'm afraid I may make a mistake.
And some other tall, blue-eyed girl chance to take.
Besides, let me tell you, and this is no joke.
My horse is quite lame and my sociable broke.
Moreover, dear Miss, I would have you to know
I'm not without some other strings to my bow ;
Every mail brings me ofl'ers from North, East and West,
The girls of the village allow me no rest.
The widows look willing, and some of the wives
Are praying their husbands would shorten their lives.
RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS. 215
So, dearest, allow me to just recommend
That you should come over along with a friend,
And we will be married on Saturday next.
For I am so pestered, fatigued and perplexed
By the banters I daily, nay, hourly, receive,
That I'm losing my senses and strength I believe.
Now be sure to come shortly or I will be lost.
And your hopes, like your eyes, most confoundedly crost.
They were afterwards married.
In the depth of the forest a streamlet I've seen,
Spreading fragrance and verdure around ;
The solitude smiled and the desert was green
Where its waters had moistened the ground.
Bright beams and soft breezes would linger and play
O'er the ripples that dimpled its face ;
It cooled the soft breezes and brightened the ray
That rested within its embrace.
In its covert the wild birds sang happy and free.
As though earth had no shadow of care ;
They had music and merriment, gossip and glee.
And bridals and honeymoons there.
As a shelter the willow his arms overspread —
The jessamine clambered above.
While, blushing and trembling, each flower hung its head
Like a maid at the first kiss of love.
That streamlet resembles the maid I address.
To whose smile such a magic belongs ;
Whom the beams and the breezes delight to caress.
And the birds to salute with their songs.
Her face, like the streamlet that flows in the wood.
Is radiant with light from above ;
It speaks of a heart where no shadows intrude.
Filled with gayety, kindness and love.
Her form is as graceful, her footstep as light.
As the willow that dips in the tide;
And her lips and her cheeks are as fresh and as bright
As the flowers that spring by its side.
216 RANDOM RECOLLECTIONS.
The glance of her eye is like starlight at eve
Reflected from billows at rest,
And neither the stars nor the billows that heave
Are more peaceful or pure than her breast.
May friends cluster round her like leaves ever green ;
May love join life's stream as it flows,
Growing broader and deeper, more clear and serene.
And joyous and bright to the close.
TO THE QUEEN OF MM.
1. Hail, gentle Queen ! thy reign extends
O'er happy subjects, fair and free ;
Thy court is thronged with loyal friends.
Who own allegiance, all, to thee.
2. No flatterer's falsehood cheats thine ear,
No envious rival hates thy sway.
But friendship kind and love sincere
Unite to crown thee Queen of May.
3. No trembling vassal fears thy frown.
Thy wants no ravaged realms supply ;
Thine are the pleasures of a crown.
Without its crimes or miserj'.
4. For thee we've roamed the woods and fields,
And sought the brightest, sweetest flowers ^
The richest prize the garden yields
Is found among these gifts of ours.
5. Crown other queens with sordid gold.
The fruit of toilsome pain and care ;
Their hearts, like it, are hard and cold.
Nor can their crowns with thine compare.
6. For as these fragrant flowers entwined
Shield and adorn thy regal brow.
So in one band our hearts we bind
To shelter and protect thee now.
7. These flowers will fade, but mem'ry still
Shall long retain this pleasing scene.
And oft, when May decks grove and hill.
We'll think of thee, our gentle Queen.
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LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
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